Sources say Germany drops veto plans at EADS
( dpa ) - Germany is quietly dropping plans to establish veto powers for itself and France at EADS, the aerospace and defence group which makes Airbus planes, sources in Munich said Thursday.
The two governments have been concerned that Russia or other nations might raise their stakes in EADS, and had considered granting themselves "golden-share" rights that would allow them to trump other shareholders.
But the European Union warned this would breach EU law.
The sources, in industry, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that Berlin was instead contemplating a proposal to the EADS annual general meeting in late May to limit any one shareholder's voting rights to 15 per cent.
This would ensure the Franco-German balance of power stayed in place and largely foil any takeover bid by a state investor from any third nation.
Berlin and Paris seek to maintain direct influence at EADS on national security grounds because it makes top-secret missiles and fighter jets.
The sources said the planned change in EADS rules would be drafted by the middle of next month in time to send it to shareholders before the May 26 meeting. The change would conform with EU law.
EADS shares are freely traded. The French and German governments and their industrial allies have the main say at the group, which was formed from a merger of their main aerospace companies.