France and Germany have agreed to negotiate with the British government to obtain nine-percent stakes in a merged EADS-BAE aerospace giant, Germany's Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.
"Berlin and Paris have agreed on a common strategy regarding the planned merger between EADS and BAE. The two governments each want to hold 9 percent of the new group," the weekly said, citing unnamed officials.
Die Welt also reported on Friday that the German government is insisting on an equal shareholding with France in the merged company, which would create a $45-billion (35-billion-euro) aerospace behemoth to rival Boeing of the US.
The French government currently holds a 15-percent stake in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, and French industrial and media group Lagardere has another 7.5 percent.
If the planned merger between EADS and British arms manufacturer BAE Systems, first announced earlier this month, did go ahead, France would have a direct stake of 9.0 percent in the new company.
The German government is ready to buy Daimler's 15-percent holding and the 7.5-percent stake held by the public-private consortium Dedalus to maintain Franco-German parity, Die Welt said.
Friday's edition of the Financial Times Deutschland also reported that Paris and Berlin wanted a blocking minority -- an idea that Britain opposes.
Under British takeover rules, the two companies have until October 10 to either formally announce that they intend to combine their activities or ditch the project.
But a source close to the talks told AFP last week that it looked as though BAE and EADS would ask Britain's stock market regulator for a delay.