EADS and BAE talk up benefits of a merger as deadline looms

Marion Dakers
THE BOSSES of defence giants BAE Systems and EADS are this week ramping up their charm offensive as they race to set out detailed merger plans before a 10 October deadline.

BAE chief executive Ian King and EADS leader Tom Enders wrote yesterday that the deal is “a combination borne out of opportunity, not necessity” that would deliver “a business with a global footprint, and a wider customer base”.

“The rationale that drives this transaction is growth, not contraction. BAE Systems and EADS operate in complementary markets,” the pair wrote in an opinion piece published in several newspapers across Europe today. However, they said they cannot yet reveal the details of the proposed tie-in.

Enders is also set to champion the tie-up when he speaks at the Royal Institute of Engineers in London tonight.

The firms also need to convince several governments.

Reports yesterday suggested that France and Germany have agreed a common strategy for the merger, with plans for each state to hold a nine per cent stake in the enlarged group.

France directly owns 15 per cent of EADS, while Germany is represented by Daimler.

The firms have until Wednesday 10 October to set out a firm merger plan under Takeover Panel rules. The panel could allow an extension if the firms cannot agree a deal within this time.