- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2006

PARIS (AP) — Shares of EADS, parent of jet maker Airbus, rose sharply yesterday on reports that a Dubai investment group was considering acquiring a stake in the European defense company.

Executives from Dubai International Capital will meet tomorrow with EADS Chief Financial Officer Hans Peter Ring and officials from other potential investment targets, the fund’s Chief Executive Officer Sameer al-Ansari was quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswire. Calls to the investment group were not immediately returned.

European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. declined to comment on the reported meeting. “We welcome all shareholders investing in EADS shares and further internationalizing our free-float,” spokesman Michael Hauger said.

Shares of EADS rose 4.7 percent to close yesterday at $28.53 in Paris, extending their 3.2 percent rise on Wednesday when market rumors of an impending Middle Eastern investment began circulating.

The stock has lost almost one-third of its value since the start of the year, buffeted by management turmoil within the company and Airbus unit, as well as costly delays to Airbus’ flagship double-decker A380 superjumbo.

Mr. Al-Ansari said Dubai International Capital will also meet representatives from German engineering company Siemens AG, carmaker DaimlerChrysler AG, airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG, chemical company BASF AG and electricity companies RWE AG and E.On AG, according to the Dow Jones report.

However, Siemens CEO Klaus Kleinfeld told reporters yesterday that he was not aware of any reports that the Dubai fund was interested in taking a stake in his company.

Under the terms of its shareholder pact and governing statutes, EADS is controlled by its two main industrial shareholders: DaimlerChrysler, which owns a 22.5 percent stake; and France’s Lagardere SCA, which owns 7.5 percent. The French government owns a further 15 percent but — in theory — defers to Lagardere on management questions.

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