Talks on changes in the shareholder structure of EADS, the parent company of aircraft maker Airbus, are continuing apace and could be completed very soon, the German economy ministry said Tuesday.
"The negotiations on a new shareholder structure at EADS are proceeding well. But key details have still to be worked out. The aim is to reach an agreement as soon as possible," a ministry spokesman told AFP.
French financial newspaper La Tribune said an announcement is set to be made after financial markets closed on Tuesday.
Conglomerate Lagardere of France and German automaker Daimler have made it known they wish to leave EADS, in which each company holds a stake of 12.5 percent.
But the imminent exits by Lagardere and Daimler upend a corporate structure carefully negotiated in 2000 by France, Germany and Spain to preserve national interests in a sensitive sector.
Reports in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal said that EADS was planning a vast share-buyback programme to fill the shoes left by Lagardere and Daimler, which represented France and Germany respectively on the EADS board.
In October, a deal to merge EADS and British group BAE Systems and which appeared set to create the world's biggest aerospace and defence company fell through owing to unexpectedly strong opposition from Germany.