The German government is pushing for the deadline for discussions over the proposed BAE and Eads mega-merger to be put back as political issues threaten to overwhelm the deal.
Thomas De Maziere, the German defence minister, said yesterday that there were too many details to be ironed out in the highly charged £30bn merger to formalise a deal by the tight 10 October deadline. The Takeover Panel set that date for an announcement, 28 days after news was leaked of the talks to create a pan-European aerospace and defence champion.
Noting that the panel can grant an extension, Mr De Maziere said: "Perhaps we need more time. It depends on the answers for our questions and so I think we need more time."
Those "questions" are likely to involve "golden shares" and the political influence that the German and French governments can wield.