DaimlerChrysler Chief Opposed To State Taking Stake In EADS

Dieter Zetsche doesn't believe increased state ownership is good for the group.

DaimlerChrysler chief Dieter Zetsche is opposed to the idea of the German state acquiring part of the auto giant's stake in European aerospace firm EADS, he said in a interview with daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. published on Oct. 20. "Fundamentally, an increase in state influence is not desirable for the group," he said.

DaimlerChrysler currently holds 22.5% in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and is Germany's representative within the group. But the German-U.S. company is believed to be considering reducing its stake to 15 %, raising the question as to who will take it over.

Germany is concerned that France, which is represented via a 30% stake held by Sogeade and media group Lagardere, would gain a greater say in the running of the company if DaimlerChrysler does reduce its stake. And speculation has been rife that the government will buy the stake.

Zetche suggested that an entry of the German state into EADS' share capital would not necessarily guarantee a successful turnaround of its crisis-ridden aircraft maker Airbus. "EADS needs to find entrepreneurial way of returning to the strength it enjoyed a few years ago," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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