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EADS ownership overhauled

EADS ownership overhauled
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EADS has reshuffled its shareholdings in the biggest shake-up of control since it was founded over a decade ago.

The total of direct state shareholdings is increased with 12 percent each for France and Germany but with the bulk of its shares being put beyond government influence. Spain will also have a stake of around four percent.

The move is designed to simplify the structure of Europe’s largest aerospace company and comes weeks after the break down of merger talks with British weapons maker BAE Systems.

Until now parity in EADS – originally formed from a merger of French, German and Spanish interests – had been ensured through a complex pact between the French state, French media firm Lagardere and German car firm Daimler.

France will give up veto powers over the company’s industrial policy and none of the governments will have special veto powers but sensitive defence interests will be ring-fenced.