EADS rejects Russian demand for seat on board

EADS, the Franco-German aerospace and defence giant which owns Airbus, yesterday rejected demands from its new Russian shareholder for a seat on the board.

A similar message is due to be conveyed by the French President, Jacques Chirac, to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, when he makes a state visit to Paris next week.

The state-owned Russian bank Vneshtorgbank bought a stake of a little more than 5 per cent in EADS last week. It followed this up by saying it wanted board representation and was considering increasing its stake so it had a blocking minority in EADS.

However, in a joint statement, EADS's co-chairmen, Manfred Bischoff and Arnaud Lagardère, ruled out the Russian request for a boardroom seat, saying it was not possible under the company's corporate governance arrangements.

"The existing corporate governance rules and structure have proved their efficiency for all shareholders. It would not be in the interest of the company to change corporate governance or enlarge the group of industrial shareholders," the statement said.

EADS is thought to be concerned about the impact on its defence business of the Russians gaining board representation. In particular, it could compromise attempts to win US military contracts, including a $100bn (£53bn) order for air-to-air refuelling tankers.

EADS is controlled by three founding shareholders - the French state, the French media conglomerate Lagardère and the car maker DaimlerChrysler - which between them own 45 per cent of the company. They originally owned 60 per cent of EADS but sold down 15 per cent of their joint shareholdings earlier this year.

The Russian stake-building took EADS by surprise, coming hard on the heels of a profits warning from the company which wiped 25 per cent off its stock market value.

The two EADS chairmen said they welcomed any investment in the company by supportive shareholders and said the company had "great interest" in extending co-operation with the Russian aerospace industry. But they added that EADS had a strictly defined corporate governance structure with clear rules that could not be circumvented to accommodate individual outside shareholders.

The Russian investment comes as EADS prepares to buy out BAE Systems' 20 per cent stake in Airbus for £1.9bn. This week, BAE warned that the delays on the A380 super-jumbo project could be even worse than thought.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine