Thursday, March 28, 2013
Airbus parent EADS won backing from shareholders for sweeping changes in its structure that emancipate it from political interference. Shareholders Wednesday tore up a Franco-German ownership pact in favor of greater management freedom. Created from a merger of French, German and Spanish assets with a tight rein on strategy, Europe's answer to Boeing has often been swept up in Franco-German industrial tensions. It's the biggest shake-up since EADS was founded in 2000. EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders said the new rules would limit government involvement to the roles of regulator or customer, giving EADS management the independence of a "normal" company despite the fact that core government stakes are rising to 28 percent from 20 percent. The changes follow last year’s failed attempted merger of EADS and BAE Systems, which would have given the company a stronger role in defense activities. (Source: Reuters, 03/27/13) Gulf Coast note: Groundbreaking for the Airbus A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala., is slated for April 8.