Germans vow to 'get tough' with French at EADS

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

FRANKFURT, Dec 10 (AFP) - In the ongoing power struggle within the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, major shareholder DaimlerChrysler has promised to "get tough" if Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard is appointed EADS co-chairman, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

FRANKFURT, Dec 10 (AFP) - In the ongoing power struggle within the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, major shareholder DaimlerChrysler has promised to "get tough" if Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard is appointed EADS co-chairman, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

DaimlerChrysler chairman Juergen Schrempp has instructed his ally Thomas Enders, who is to replace Rainer Hertrich as the German EADS co-chairman in July, to "show he is in charge" if Forgeard is appointed alongside him, the newspaper said, quoting sources close to the German-US auto giant.

DaimlerChrysler is EADS's biggest shareholder with a stake of 30 percent.

The car maker cannot block the French nomination for EADS co-chairman, but is believed to prefer the current incumbent Philippe Camus, FT reported.

The possible appointment of Forgeard would therefore likely lead to tensions on the EADS board.

"We were very satisfied with Camus," the newspaper quoted a DaimlerChrysler source as saying. If Forgeard were appointed, "there will probably be problems in the beginning, but we, as a shareholder, will make sure they are resolved."

Germany is concerned that France is trying to tip the current balance of power within EADS in its favour.

Germany is represented via DaimlerChrysler's 30-percent stake, while the French state and the French Lagardere also hold 15 percent apiece.

The current power-sharing is encapsulated in the system of having two chairmen, one German and one French.

Forgeard has made no secret of his ambition to become sole chairman of EADS.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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