A French parliamentary source briefed on the negotiations said that France, Britain, EADS and BAE are now agreed on the deal’s basics, but Germany still had to be convinced.
“The decision is now at the highest level. It may be settled between (French President Francois) Hollande and (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel,” the source said. “Hollande is ready to call Merkel if needed.”
The two leaders held inconclusive talks on Sept. 22.
While Berlin is widely portrayed as isolated, German sources insist it is France’s determination to keep a state shareholding and a major headquarters, undervaluing Germany’s role in EADS and European defence, that has led to the impasse.
“It is a complex and sensitive process and these are not issues that are easily sorted out with side deals in the corridors,” a source involved in the talks said.
“Everyone is trying to inch forward to a position of comfort on this (point), but you can expect a few convulsions along the way,” said another person involved in negotiations. “You don’t want a situation where governments feel that if more shares become available, they can go ahead and buy them.”
The three nations are also negotiating National Security Agreements in addition to anti-takeover golden shares.
EADS is controlled by a pact between the French state and two core industrial shareholders, Lagardere and German carmaker Daimler, which collectively own 45 percent.