Qatar interested in EADS stake: Der Spiegel
The Gulf state of Qatar is in talks to buy into European aerospace firm EADS by purchasing half of German carmaker Daimler's shares up for sale, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported.
Members of the Qatari government met two weeks ago with German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler for initial talks, said the magazine in its edition to be published Monday.
Defence group EADS is the parent company of plane maker Airbus.
A ministry spokeswoman said Saturday that she was not able to comment on "ongoing negotiations," but sources said that EADS was "a very attractive business as shown by Qatar's interest."
"The (possible) entry of sovereign funds is reviewed particularly critically due to the political and technological issues," linked to EADS' activities, sources told AFP.
Der Spiegel said Qatar aimed to acquire half of the 15 percent of EADS shares put up for sale a few months ago by Daimler, which has so far failed to spark the interest of potential investors.
Angela Merkel's government would like to see a German investor and the Chancellory would be ready if necessary to involve the German state development bank Kfw, the magazine reported.
The economy minister is sceptical of the plan and would prefer to see a private investor, foreign if necessary, involved, sources added.
A German government source said in mid-August that it was in search of a private investor.
The shareholding and management of EADS is strictly split between France and Germany.
Daimler holds 15 percent of EADS capital and 22.5 percent of the voting rights.
In France, media conglomerate Lagardere holds 7.5 percent but has also indicated that it wants to sell its stake to concentrate on its core business.
© 2011 AFP