Germany to take stake as Airbus parent shakes up ownership

Germany to take stake as Airbus parent shakes up ownership
A Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) Airbus A380 takes off during the Farnborough International Airshow, in Farnborough, England, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
PARIS (AP) - European aerospace and defense giant EADS has announced a new ownership structure in which Germany is set to join France and Spain as state shareholders.

The parent company of plane maker Airbus says that under terms of the deal, the French and German government will each eventually have a 12 percent share - and Spain would hold about 4 percent.

Meanwhile, under the agreement announced Wednesday, private-sector investors Daimler AG of Germany and France's Lagardere SCA plan to reduce their respective stakes in the company.

In a statement, EADS CEO Thomas Enders called the shareholding shake-up "the most important change since the creation of the company more than 12 years ago."

EADS said the shareholding overhaul will "simplify the governance" and allow the state shareholders to "protect their strategic interests."