BERLIN, Sept 27 Germany and France may seek to
secure a 27 percent combined share holding in a company formed
from a merger of EADS and BAE Systems Plc, but
Britain is opposed, the Financial Times Deutschland said.
The stake would create a shareholder counterweight with the
power to block decisions by the management of the new company,
the FTD said, citing sources familiar with the matter, in an
article due to appear in its Friday edition.
The move could also prove a deal breaker since EADS boss Tom
Enders has repeatedly said he wants to reduce state influence in
a combined company.
The FTD said the idea enjoys French support, but France has
so far proved unwilling to be pressured into trading concessions
for the sake of a common position with Germany, given the
mismatch of share holdings.
It was an open question whether Germany would approve a
proposal, the paper said, quoting industry sources.
The two countries should also each get a seat on the board
of directors of the merged company, the German paper said.
France owns 15 percent of EADS and wants to retain its right
to influence group strategy. Germany is not a direct
shareholder, but sees the transaction as a chance to tighten its
grip on a stake currently held by Daimler AG and a
group of banks.
On Saturday, France and Germany agreed at a summit to
"consult" on the merger talks, but French President Francois
Hollande avoided pledging to create a common position between
the two countries, despite earlier German hopes of a joint
The planned $45 billion merger aims to create the world's
biggest defence and aerospace company. It would dilute the
influence of the French, German and Spanish governments,
prompting negotiations over their future roles.
EADS and BAE have said they will offer the governments of
France, Germany and Britain a "special share" in the new
company, allowing them to block any future hostile takeover, but
are determined to prevent further meddling in other management
The Financial Times Deutschland quoted an EADS spokesman as
declining to comment on the report.
"The ball is in the field of the governments. We are waiting
now for their views. Then we will decide whether the ideas of
the governments allow for a merger that makes business sense or
not," the spokesman was quoted as saying.