EADS shareholders back sweeping corporate changes

AMSTERDAM, March 27 Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:45am EDT

AMSTERDAM, March 27 (Reuters) - EADS shareholders backed sweeping corporate changes and a partially new board on Wednesday, abandoning a Franco-German control pact in favour of rules that its leaders hailed as "emancipation" from political interference.

Shareholders in the Airbus parent also approved a maximum buyback of 15 percent of shares, worth 5.1 billion euros ($6.56 billion) at current prices, but Chief Executive Tom Enders hinted he would not make use of the entire allocation following recent gains.

"Good luck to you, Tom, you are in the driver's seat - not an easy task, but so far so good," outgoing chairman Arnaud Lagardere told Enders from the platform after shareholders backed the biggest shake-up since EADS was founded in 2000.

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