December 4, 2015 / 11:21 AM / 3 years ago

Germany approves merger of tank maker KMW with French Nexter

German armed forces Bundeswehr soldiers hold a symbolic key after the official handover of a new tank Leopard 2A7 by German defence industry company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to the Bundeswehr in Munich December 10, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government has approved a merger of German tank maker Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) with the French armoured vehicle maker Nexter, the economy ministry said on Friday.

“The government has checked the request, the permission was granted,” a spokesman for Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

State-controlled Nexter Systems and privately held Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co KG have been in exclusive tie-up talks for more than a year and sealed their merger in July.

The deal will combine the Leclerc and Leopard tank brands in what could be a blueprint for more European defense consolidation.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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