PARIS: Leading airline and defense firm Aerospatiale has appointed former defense ministry adviser, Pierre Bayle, as its new communications director. His first major task will be to oversee the privatization of the state-owned firm. Around 30% of the business will be sold to private conglomerate Lagardere, in exchange for rival firm Matra Hautes Technologies. A further stake of 20% will be floated on the Paris Stock Exchange in the first four months of 1999, and 2% will be sold to Aerospatiale employees. Bayle replaces Patrice Kreis, who has now taken up the position of communications director at Electricite de France. He will oversee a media relations team of about 20 people.