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Daimler to keep EADS stake at 15 percent

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Daimler to keep EADS stake at 15 percent
Photo: DPA
13:25 CET+01:00
Daimler will keep its holding in the European aerospace group EADS at 15 percent and will not retrieve a 7.5-percent stake from German banks, the carmaker's finance director said on Tuesday.

"We have decided to lower our participation from 22.5 percent to 15 percent and we will stay there," Bodo Uebber told the business daily Handelsblatt.

Uebber has also been the head of EADS management board since April.

"There is no internal discussion on our participation in EADS," he stressed.

In 2007, Daimler deposited one third of its EADS stake in a banking consortium but retained the voting rights associated with it. The arrangement expires in July, with Daimler in a position to retake the 7.5 percent holding.

If it decides not to, the banks could retain the shares, or they could be sold to the German state, which has a right of first refusal.

Uebber said he "excluded for the moment" the possibility that an outside investor, from the Gulf region for example, might buy the holding.

Handelsblatt said some of the banks involved sought to get rid of the shares because they have lost a considerable amount of their value.

German authorities might nonetheless pressure the banks to hold on to the stock in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, the newspaper added.

Berlin has provided banks with massive amounts of public aid during the global financial crisis, and wants to retain influence within EADS commensurate with that held by France.

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