In the face of overwhelming opposition from shareholders and severe misgivings in Berlin, Paris and London, BAE and EADS have thrown in the towel on their proposed merger.

The deal would have created the world's largest aerospace and defence business, with turnover of some $100 billion, but BAE boss Ian King and his EADS counterpart Tom Enders were unable to convince stakeholders that the combination would protect their interests.

Talks between the two companies, revealed on 12 September, were formally terminated this afternoon, just hours before a London Stock Exchange deadline to either reveal a detailed proposal or walk away from the deal.

King stressed that BAE remains robust without joining EADS but said: "We are obviously disappointed that we were unable to reach an acceptable agreement with our various government stakeholders. We believe the merger presented a unique opportunity for BAE Systems and EADS to combine two world class and complementary businesses to create a world leading aerospace, defence and security group."

Enders added: "EADS will continue on its international growth path and our shareholders can continue to expect profitable growth, excellent liquidity and programme execution based on a strong order book."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news