The government of Germany is looking for investors to buy shares of European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. that are controlled by Daimler AG as the automaker seeks to decrease its holding, two insiders revealed. Specifically, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel is searching for a buyer to maintain the parity of Germany with France for control of the Airbus parent.
This is the first step before politicians decide whether to authorize a state purchase of the shares, said one source who requested anonymity because the talks are private.
Owning 15 percent of EADS, Daimler wants the government to find buyers this year for at least 7.5 percent of the share held by a group of private and public financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank AG as well as state-owned development bank KfW Group, according to two insiders last June.
The automaker holds the voting rights of the entire 22.5 percent. Germany has been in talks regarding the options for the stake for several months, including parking shares with KfW.
This issue has become complicated due to the change in leadership in Merkel's junior coalition partner Free Democratic Party, which has cringed at state ownership.
Merkel is also pressured to boost economic growth while financing bailout funds to offset the euro debt crisis. Germany is seeking the assistance of investment banks in finding a buyer, one person disclosed.