All change at EADS

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All change at EADS

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EADS’ shareholders have backed sweeping changes at the aerospace group.

The shake-up of the parent company of Airbus will end a Franco-German ownership pact and limit government involvement to the role of regulator or customer.

That will make the management independent despite the fact that the total government stakes are rising from 20 percent to 28 percent as France’s Lagardere media group and Germany’s Daimler withdraw from EADS.

The German government is to pick up part of Daimler’s stake to preserve the shareholder balance between the two countries.

France and Germany will hold core stakes of 12 percent each in EADS, with Spain at four percent.

Shareholders have also approved a buyback of up to 15 percent of the group’s shares.

EADS left open its options on how to implement the buyback, whose potential value has risen sharply since it was first announced in December, igniting a 39 percent rally in the share price since the start of this year.

Chief Executive Tom Enders indicated he would not make use of the entire allocation after those recent price gains.

Created from a merger of French, German and Spanish assets with strict controls on management independence, EADS has been seen as a stage for Franco-German industrial tensions at various points, most notably when the A380 superjumbo went over budget.