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Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 06:23 AM

EADS: Confirms talks on shareholder structure

The Associated Press

European aerospace and defense company EADS NV says its key shareholders are discussing potential changes to its structure and management.

EADS, parent company of aircraft maker Airbus, is jointly French- and German-owned.

The French government owns 15 percent and French media company Lagardere has 7.5 percent. Germany's government does not have direct stakes, but has influence through auto maker Daimler, which holds a 22.5 percent stake.

French president Francois Hollande said a deal was "close."

"EADS's state shareholdings are going to change...and we will therefore have to revise the shareholder pact," Hollande said during a news conference in Lyon, France. "We are working on it, and a deal is close."

In response to media reports that EADS was talking about capping state stakes and giving both France and Germany voting shares of 12 percent each, the company issued a statement Monday that it was in discussions whose objective was to "preserve and enhance... the interests of all stakeholders."

But it says "there can be no certainty that these decisions will be conclusive."

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Associated Press writer Sylvie Corbet in Lyon, France contributed to this article.


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