Lagardère expects EADS exit by July

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French media firm Lagardère expects to dispose of its 7.44% shareholding in EADS by the end of July.

Speaking at the announcement of its full-year results on 7 March Arnaud Lagardère, the company's boss, said the company was "not in a hurry" to relinquish its stake in the aerospace giant, but would "respect" the timetable in order to "get out cleanly".

EADS has embarked on a wide-ranging shake-up of its ownership structure in order to reduce political interference in its governance.

Lagardère's stake in EADS - owned via holding company Sogeade - is part of a total 22.16% shareholding held by France.

Under EADS's share buy-back plan, to be voted on at a EGM on 27 March, Lagardère will reduce its stake in the company to between 0% and 2.28%, depending on the success of the buy-back scheme.

French state ownership will be capped at 12%.

Lagardère says it expects its shares to be acquired at market rates. EADS shares were trading at around €40 on 8 March.