French govt mum on Thales CEO link to EADS


France‘s top official in charge of state industrial holdings declined to say today whether the new head of defence firm Thales would remain head of the company that controls France‘s stake in rival EADS.

Reuters notes Luc Vigneron was last year appointed chairman of SOGEPA, a holding company that represents the combined interests of the French government and media group Lagardere in EADS, a former suitor and in some domains a competitor of Thales.

“We will see,” Bruno Bezard, head of the state enterprise shareholding agency APE told Reuters, asked on the sidelines of a Thales shareholding meeting whether Vigneron would stay in the post.

“I can’t tell you that right now,” he added, asked whether SOGEPA would meet to discuss the issue.

EADS has a 46% stake in Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA), which has become Thales’s largest industrial shareholder after buying a 21% stake from Alcatel Lucent.