EADS shares surge as shake-up talks continue

EADS, the maker of Airbus, said on Monday it would protect the interests of its shareholders, as talks towards a vast corporate revamp continued helping push the company's share price skyward.

In a statement, EADS, the European aerospace giant, confirmed press reports "that key shareholders are discussing potential changes in the company shareholding structure and corporate governance."

"The company is participating actively in such discussions, as appropriate, with the support of its Board of Directors, with the objective to preserve and enhance, where appropriate, the interests of all stakeholders, including shareholders, clients and employees."

Talk of the shake-up sent shares in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) soaring nearly three percent on Monday to 26.65 euros on a Paris market up one percent.

Conglomerate Lagardere of France and German automaker Daimler have made it known they wish to leave EADS, in which each company holds stake of 12.5 percent.

But the imminent exits by Lagardere and Daimler upends a corporate structure carefully negotiated in 2000 by France, Germany and Spain to preserve national interests in a what is still a sensitive sector.

Reports in Financial Times and Wall Street Journal said EADS was planning a vast share buyback programme to fill the shoes left by Lagardere and Daimler, which represented France and Germany respectively on the EADS board.

Knowledgeable sources told AFP that France and Germany were looking each to hold 12 percent of a newly structured EADS.

A board meeting was held on Sunday to continue talks on a deal, sources said, adding that an announcement was imminent.

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