David Cameron talks to François Hollande and Angela Merkel about BAE merger

 

David Cameron has spoken to his counterparts in France and Germany about the proposed £28 billion merger of BAE Systems with European aerospace giant EADS.

The Prime Minister spoke to President Francois Hollande by phone this morning, having discussed the merger with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday evening, said Downing Street.

Although the merger is a commercial deal, the approval of all three governments in London, Paris and Berlin will be needed if it is to go ahead. The British Government holds a "golden share" in defence contractors BAE, which means it can veto any merger or takeover of the company.

BAE has said that the planned tie-up with Airbus owner EADS will form a "world-class" company in its sector, with combined sales of £60 billion and about 220,000 staff. The merged group would employ about 48,000 in the UK alone.

The deal, which will give BAE access to the lucrative civil aviation market, will leave BAE shareholders with 40% of the combined group.

The two companies have until October 10 to finalise terms under Takeover Panel rules, but there was speculation today that they may request an extension to the deadline.

Mr Cameron's official spokesman declined to give details of the PM's discussions with his French and German opposite numbers when he addressed reporters at a regular press briefing in Westminster today.

The spokesman said: "Given the nature of the companies' activities, the Government will clearly have some involvement and we need to ensure that the UK's public interest is properly protected.

"We are working with the companies to ensure that that is the case. We are also talking to people in other countries about this.

"The Prime Minister spoke to Chancellor Merkel on Friday night and has spoken to President Hollande this morning.

"Clearly, the companies have activities in all three countries and you would expect us to stay in close contact on it. We have an interest in ensuring that the UK's interests are properly protected and we will do that."

Mr Cameron has not yet spoken to US President Barack Obama about the merger proposal, said the spokesman. Washington is understood to be taking a close interest in the deal because of BAE's involvement in sensitive US defence projects.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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 General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there