A deal has been struck that will see Germany keep its influence in aerospace group EADS. A consortium of Banks- led by DeutscheBank, Commerzbank and state lender KfW- will take a 7.5% stake currently held by DaimlerChrysler.
The German car manufacturer wanted to cut its share of the pie by a third. The deal means it will keep its voting rights on the full stake and German and French involvement will remain equal. France has come out on top in a series of recent high-profile mergers.
The active role taken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in getting together a group of investors for the stake goes against her desire for a hands-off approach to corporate affairs.
The solution is only temporary. The 7.5% taken by the banks will be in return for a loan. The stock will then revert back to DaimlerChrysler after about four years. This would minimise the risk for the lenders that share prices will drop even further. At the moment they’re worth a fifth less than they were a year ago after a crisis involving production problems, delays, lost profits and job cuts.