EADS protection plans still under discussion
Germany and France have not yet agreed on a way to prevent foreign investors acquiring major stakes in European aerospace group.
BERLIN, March 11, 2008 - Germany and France have not yet agreed on a
way to prevent foreign investors acquiring major stakes in European aerospace
group EADS, a government spokesman in Berlin said Friday.
"As far as I know, we are still reflecting upon the matter, it is still
under discussion," Ulrich Wilhelm told reporters.
The spokesman was denying a report in the Financial Times Friday that said
the two countries were finalising changes to laws to prevent foreigners
building significant stakes in EADS, or even launching a takeover.
Oliver Drewes, spokesman for the EU commissioner on internal markets, also said that he has "no knowledge of a concrete plan" in this regard.
EADS late last week won a 35-billion-dollar (22.8-billion-euro) Pentagon
contract to supply refuelling aircraft.
The deal was hailed by France and Germany as a major coup for EADS but it
has sparked a backlash in the US Congress over the spending of tax dollars on
a military project that will partly profit a foreign company.
Most of EADS is controlled by French and German interests, both public and
private, while the Spanish state holding group SEPI also owns 5.47 percent of
EADS, the parent company of plane maker Airbus, saw its profits collapse
last year because of cost overruns with the Airbus A380.
It has begun a major restructuring programme to make up for the costly