European leaders discuss BAE-EADS merger plans

<p>The leaders of the UK, France and Germany have discussed the BAE-EADS merger.</p>

The planned merger of BAE Systems and EADS has been the subject of serious talks between key European leaders over the weekend.

A summit between German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande heavily featured the business tie-up, while both incumbents spoke to British prime minister David Cameron about the union of these defence giants.

All three leaders need to approve the merger before the October 10th deadline.

The future of EADS – which owns the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus – is sensitive in France and Germany, because it is a major defence contractor and employer in both countries.

EADS will make up 60 per cent of the new company if it joins forces with BAE Systems and it would have £60 billion in sales and 220,000 employees, including 50,000 in the UK.

At 15:40 BST, EADS was down 2.6 per cent on the Paris Stock Exchange to €25.02 per share, while BAE Systems retreated 1.7 per cent on the London Stock Exchange to 334.20p.

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