by Staff Writers
Frankfurt (AFP) Dec 04, 2012
Talks on changes in the shareholder structure of EADS, the parent company of aircraft maker Airbus, are continuing apace and could be completed very soon, the German economy ministry said Tuesday.
"The negotiations on a new shareholder structure at EADS are proceeding well. But key details have still to be worked out. The aim is to reach an agreement as soon as possible," a ministry spokesman told AFP.
The French financial newspaper La Tribune had said an announcement was set to be made after financial markets closed on Tuesday, although EADS and officials from France refused to comment, suggesting the wait could be longer.
Anticipation of a deal was pushing the EADS share price sharply higher for the second consecutive session Tuesday.
In afternoon trading, EADS shares were up by nearly 3.0 percent outpacing a Paris stock market rising by 0.66 percent. On Monday the group's share price surged 2.14 percent.
Conglomerate Lagardere of France and German automaker Daimler have made it known they wish to sell their shares in EADS.
Each of those companies holds an EADS stake of 12.5 percent.
But the imminent moves by Lagardere and Daimler upend a corporate structure carefully negotiated in 2000 by France, Germany and Spain to preserve national interests in a sensitive sector.
Reports in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal said that EADS was planning a vast share-buyback programme to fill the shoes left by Lagardere and Daimler, which represented France and Germany respectively on the EADS board.
In October, a deal to merge EADS and British group BAE Systems and which appeared set to create the world's biggest aerospace and defence company fell through owing to unexpectedly strong opposition from Germany.
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