18 Sep 12. The leaders of France and Germany will seek a common position at a series of meetings this week on a $45bn defense merger that could involve them having to giving up strategic influence in aerospace group EADS (EAD.PA). After talks on a tie-up between EADS and Britain’s BAE Systems (BA.TO) were leaked last week, government officials from across Europe have this week been setting out their views on the deal. While no government has spoken out directly against the merger, and officials seem to see benefits in creating a company that would have far more weight on the world stage, there are concerns that too many demands from politicians could result in the deal being scrapped. Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she planned to discuss the matter with French President Francois Hollande at a meeting on Saturday. Sources had said there would already be preparatory high-level talks on Thursday and Friday. A “pre-decision” for a common position with France could be taken at these preparatory talks, one source said. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has not yet come up with a unified position on the talks, though some German politicians want guarantees for German jobs and to see some activities being headquartered in Germany.
“It cannot be that a Franco-British company is created out of a Franco-German company,” Joachim Pfeiffer, a spokesman for Merkel’s CDU party told Reuters on Wednesday, saying that he would not accept it if the merged company based its commercial activities in Toulouse and its defense operations in London.
EADS employs almost 50,000 people in Germany at 29 different sites. German media reports this week that EADS boss Tom Enders offered job guarantees to the group’s 20,000 defense workers have been dismissed as “nonsense” by officials and by EADS. In the state of Bavaria, where EADS employs 15,000 people, the regional economy minister said a merger might improve the firms’ competitive position but his focus was on securing jobs. (Source: Reuters)
18 Sep 12. Boutiques show their mettle in BAE/EADS. Independent M&A advisers are playing an intriguingly prominent role in merger discussions between EADS and BAE Systems. The continental aerospace group has retained two of this fast-growing breed in hopes they will help it pull off the tricky €38bn transaction. Perella Weinberg and rival Evercore dug in long ago as advisers to the owner of Airbus, with BNP Paribas and Lazard France featuring as later additions. Gleacher Shacklock, meanwhile, figures as an independent counsellor to BAE alongside a couple of bulge bracket groups. Corporate finance watchers credit the firm’s Tim Shacklock with early involvement in the proposal, even if he has to share the credit with Simon Robey of Morgan Stanley and Karen Cook of Goldman Sachs. According to their fans, independents provide a good sounding board for chief executives seeking feedback on a merger or takeover plan. At its best, the service is reputedly personal, conflicts of interest are few and small scale reduces scope for leaks. The latter claim seems a bit unfair on corporate financiers at big investment banks, thus smeared as gossips. However, nervous chief executives sometimes agree with the truism that the more people you let into a secret, the less secret it becomes. Less controversially, knowledgeable bankers with the right contacts will always win mandates. An independent house is a good place to do it from if working for a big bank palls. Dietrich Becker of Perella Weinberg is a longstanding adviser to EADS chief executive Tom Enders, having acted for the German side in the original combination as a Morgan Stanley executive. Bernard Taylor of Evercore, an ex-Flemings man, has a similar record with the French contingent. And Mr Shacklock, formerly of Kleinworts, has advised BAE for upwards of 20 years. (Source: FT.com)
13 Sep 12. Boeing Co. (BA) said a merger that would transform rival European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD) into