France may hive off part of EADS stake -sources

PARIS Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:00am EST

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PARIS Nov 30 (Reuters) - France may renounce voting rights for three percent of EADS but is likely to keep its full economic stake of 15 percent as part of a deal to bring Germany into the capital of the Airbus parent group, sources close to the matter said.

The possible decision to split up France's stake in the European aerospace group is a compromise designed to allow France and Germany to hold 12 percent each of EADS inside a newly formed, government-only core shareholding group.

Given Spain's stake of 5.5 percent, this is the maximum that each country can hold on an equal basis without crossing the 30 pecent threshold for a mandatory bid worth 21 billion euros.

Dutch regulatory experts say hiving off the 3 percent stake into a non-voting structure would avoid a politically awkward sale of part of France's government stake to Germany, something Le Figaro website reported that Paris does not wish to do.

EADS declined to comment.

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