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Germany to host EADS meeting Feb 23: Berlin

by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Feb 9, 2011
Germany will host a high-level meeting on the future of European aerospace group EADS on February 23, the government said Wednesday, amid reports automaker Daimler wants to sell its 15-percent stake.

"Such a meeting will take place," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government briefing, confirming earlier press reports.

Seibert did not say exactly who would participate but reports said Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle would attend.

Daimler, the German car giant that holds 15 percent of EADS and 22.5 percent of its voting rights, is preparing its exit, according to the German media.

The firm could even get rid of its holdings this year, the Financial Times Deutschland has reported -- which Daimler has refused to confirm or deny.

According to business daily Handelsblatt, Berlin is "urgently" seeking another German investor in EADS, which owns aircraft maker Airbus.

"There are already negotiations with different investors, including German subcontrators of EADS," the newspaper quoted a government source as saying.

On Monday, Seibert told reporters that Germany was "in intense dialogue" with France over the fate of EADS.

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