• Germany edition
 
Berlin and Paris revamp strategic EADS holdings
Photo: DPA

Berlin and Paris revamp strategic EADS holdings

Published: 06 Dec 2012 10:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Dec 2012 10:56 GMT+01:00

The agreement will leave France and Germany each with 12-percent holdings and Spain with about 4.0 percent, a statement said, as the German automaker Daimler and French conglomerate Lagardere curtailed their own key stakes. The deal is designed to allow EADS to function as an aerospace giant independent of intrusive government influence, and could pave the way for future growth.

"This agreement aims at normalising and simplifying the governance of EADS while securing a shareholding structure that allows France, Germany and Spain to protect their legitimate strategic interests," an EADS statement said.

Chief executive Tom Enders told a telephone news conference that the deal represents "the most important change since the creation of EADS 12 years ago."

Enders emphasised that no shareholder will be able to "directly or indirectly appoint board members," to show how "government influence and capacity to interfere in the company will recede."

EADS added that it would buy back up to 15 percent of its free-floating capital in the first half of next year, subject to market conditions, a move that would underpin the share price as Daimler and Lagardere sold their stakes.

EADS shares jumped by 2.46 percent to €27.73 on the Paris stock exchange, which closed before the announcement was made with a gain of 0.28 percent overall.

The agreement allows for the percentage of freely floating EADS shares to jump from 49 percent at present to more than 70 percent, the group said. A statement issued by the French presidency emphasised that the deal would "guarantee the interests of the French, German and Spanish states within the group."

It would also give EADS "the freedom of movement it needs to pursue its development," the French statement said, while underscoring that the group's headquarters would stay in Toulouse, southern France.

EADS chief strategy and marketing officer Marwan Lahoud remarked that "moving the operational headquarters of the company is an operational decision" that "is decided by the board of directors."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the agreement meanwhile, saying in 1a statement that as a result, "the Franco-German partnership within EADS can advance in a balanced manner. The spirit that existed when the group was founded is thus respected."

EADS was created in July 2000 via a merger of the German defence company DASA, France's Aerospatiale-Matra and the Spanish group CASA.

According to the French presidency's statement, the new agreement "reinforces the protection of the nation's strategic defence interests via a specific agreement between EADS and the French state" that is expected to cover the group's ballistic missile activities.

Sources close to French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici highlighted a clause that would bar any new EADS shareholder from acquiring a holding of more than 15 percent.

Paris would also have a priority to buy shares in the French aerospace company Dassault, in which EADS owns a stake of 46 percent, should they be put up for sale.

Officials in Paris and Berlin have been exploring how to handle the exits of Daimler and Lagardere from EADS shareholding structure, a development that shakes up the original equity framework.

According to the EADS statement, the "present shareholder pact (is) expected to be replaced by a normal company governance scheme." EADS, which is registered in the Netherlands, builds satellites, rocket launchers, helicopters and defence systems in addition to its main unit, Airbus.

The group recently tried to seal a tie up with the British defence group BAE Systems, but the talks fell through, reportedly owing to German concern that it would be sidelined within the merged entity.

Britain was said to be concerned about undue state influence over what would have become the world's biggest aerospace and defence group.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich man arrested for foreigner death threats
Photo: DPA

Munich man arrested for foreigner death threats

A man from Munich was arrested on Monday for posting videos on Facebook in which he posed with a gun and threatened to kill foreigners. READ  

View from Germany
'Only losers in economic war with Russia'
Volkswagen is the German company with the biggest turnover Russia. Photo: DPA

'Only losers in economic war with Russia'

German businesses are lobbying hard against imposing tougher sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, warning further sanctions would hurt the country's exports and threaten German jobs. READ  

Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy
The Israeli Embassy in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy

UPDATE: A man set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Berlin on Monday night. Police said it was too soon to say whether it was part of a political protest. READ  

Thousands of litres of beer close motorway
Photo: NRW-aktuell.tv/YouTube screenshot

Thousands of litres of beer close motorway

Thousands of litres of beer were spilled on a motorway near Duisburg in western Germany on Monday night, when a truck carrying several hundred crates of Bitburger toppled over, shutting the Autobahn. READ  

Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis
Photo: DPA

Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis

Seriously ill patients will be allowed to grow their own cannabis at home for medicinal purposes, a German court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Seven German family members killed in Gaza
An Israeli strike on Gaza City on Monday. Photo: DPA

Seven German family members killed in Gaza

UPDATE: Seven members of a German family living in Gaza City were killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday evening. READ  

Workers in Germany pay record tax sum
Photo: DPA

Workers in Germany pay record tax sum

Workers in Germany are paying a record amount of tax into government coffers, according to figures published on Monday. Those on an average wage of €40,000 pay almost twice as much tax in Germany as they would in the United States or Australia. READ  

Netflix to launch in Germany in September
Laverne Cox, star of Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Photo: EPA/PETER FOLEY

Netflix to launch in Germany in September

Netflix revealed plans on Monday to launch in Germany in September this year, bringing the popular movie and TV streaming service to one of the world’s biggest markets. READ  

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia
An armed separatist walks past the bodybags of victims of the MH17 crash. Photo: EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia

Germany's foreign minister said Monday the EU will "raise the pressure" on Russia over the Ukraine crisis following the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 with a suspected missile. READ  

No foreigner road toll for German borders?
Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (l) and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer are fighting over the "foreigner toll". Photo: DPA

No foreigner road toll for German borders?

Bavaria’s interior minister has called for German border regions to be exempt from a controversial project to charge foreigners to use the country’s roads, sparking a row within his own party. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Joachim Löw: A career in pictures
Photo: Submitted
Society
Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
National
Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Should Germany follow France and ban the burqa?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,232
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd