Europe : EADS to consider ways to limit foreign ownership

25th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Key shareholders in European aerospace giant EADS are to consider a move that would prevent foreign investors from acquiring more than a 15 percent stake

   PARIS, March 5, 2008 - Key shareholders in European aerospace giant
EADS are to consider a move that would prevent foreign investors from
acquiring more than a 15 percent stake, the EADS chairman said in an interview
published Monday by the Financial Times.
   Rudiger Grubbe told the paper that such an initiative would be an
alternative to according France and Germany "golden shares" in EADS,
preferential stakes carrying veto rights that could be given to the French and
German governments.
   He said changes could be made to the EADS statutes that would prevent
"somebody (who) would like to take more than (a) 15 percent" interest in the
company.
   "The main shareholders should decide (who can take a strategic stake) and
not somebody who isn't a shareholder today," Grube told the Financial Times,
adding that the modifications might not be approved this year.
   The German state is not currently a shareholder in the European Aeronautic
Defence and Space Company, the parent group for aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
   German interests are represented by the automaker Daimler, which controls
15 percent, as well as a consortium of investors, including regional
governments. The consortium has a 7.5 percent stake.
   The French government owns 15 percent of EADS while the French media and defence firm Lagardere has a 12.5 percent interest that it is reducing to 7.5
percent.
   Grube's comments are consistent with recent German press reports that the
golden share idea for EADS was being abandoned.

AFP 

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