German Bank Takes Stake in Airbus Parent EADS

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German automaker Daimler plans to sell about half its 15% stake in European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. (EADS) to German bank KfW Bankengruppen by the end of this year. Daimler controls more than 22% of EADS following a 2007 buyout of Britain’s BAE Systems.

EADS owns Airbus and three other companies, and it is the major competitor to U.S. airplane maker Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). So far this year, Boeing has hammered Airbus on new orders taken, writing up more than twice as many orders as the European giant.

Daimler’s wish in selling its stake in EADS is to rid itself of noncore holdings. The carmaker had trouble finding a buyer though, until KfW stepped up.

The German government wanted to maintain the country’s stake in EADS, which it now shares with France and Spain, as well as with holders of common stock. The Germans do not want their stake in EADS to fall below that of France. Das ist doch schrecklich, entsetzlich! Or in French, quelle horreur.

Paul Ausick

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