EADS plans to create golden share, paper


EADS and its key shareholders are planning to introduce a golden share that would give France and Germany veto rights on strategic issues, says a German magazine, citing sources.

The EADS management has convinced major shareholders Lagardere and Daimler as well as the French and German governments that introducing a golden share would allow both states to hold special voting rights on key issues, weekly WirtschaftsWoche said.
“That is the only possible solution to the problem,” the magazine quoted a source as saying. “We are working right now to resolve the existing legal obstacles.”

Under EU rules governments are not allowed to hold a golden share.

The report said the shareholders declined comment to the magazine.

Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche had signalled in an interview with Reuters Insider TV that the German carmaker could make a change to its holding in EADS but no decision had been made yet.

A source had told Reuters this week that Germany’s federal states may end up buying part of Daimler’s stake to preserve a Franco-German balance of power at the aerospace and defence company.

Maintaining a balance of power between French and German interests in EADS has been a sensitive topic ever since the group was created.

Each side holds 22.5 percent stake in EADS, with the German side represented by Daimler’s 15 percent interest and another 7.5 percent held by a pool of private and state banks.

The French side is represented by the French government and Lagardere.

Daimer wants to give up half of its 15 percent interest.

The German government wants to provide assistance to Daimler’s project on producing electric cars in order to convince the carmaker to hold on to its EADS shares, a prerelease by German magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday.