EU’s defense tie-up needs additional time

EU’s defense tie-up needs additional time

NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
EU’s defense tie-up needs additional time

EADS CEO Enders (L) at the economic affairs committee of the German Bundestag. EPA photo

Talks on a tie-up between aerospace groups EADS and BAE Systems looked set for extra time yesterday, after German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere and another source said negotiations had some way to go.

“I think we need more time,” de Maiziere told journalists in Nicosia after meeting the day before with his British and French counterparts to discuss the proposal which would create a giant to rival the US group Boeing.

A source close to the talks told AFP that it looked as though British arms maker BAE Systems and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company would ask Britain’s stock market regulator to extend its October 10 deadline.

Under British stock market rules, the two groups have until October 10 formally to announce that they intend to combine their activities or ditch the project, though they could also ask for a delay.

The British side did not think that this would be a problem under British stock market rules, the source added. Both sides apparently want to avoid that situation however.

De Maiziere underscored that the proposed deal “is a complex situation. There are a lot of questions and conditions.” While highlighting “constructive discussions” between the three countries’ defence chiefs, the German added that “nothing has been decided yet.