EADS has agreed to raise Spanish workshare on the ultra-large A380 programme from 8% to 10%, writes Rainer Uphoff.

The decision follows Spanish threats to reduce the country's funding contribution if local industry "was not given an adequate participation". Spain holds a 5.6% stake in EADS - which in turn owns 80% of Airbus - through state holding company SEPI.

During a visit to Spain last week, EADS chief financial officer Hans Peter Ring said Spanish participation in the A380 is "increasing to 10%".

EADS Casa says: "When EADS co-chief executives Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich visited Madrid last December for talks with the president of SEPI, it was agreed to create a commission to assess the issue of Spanish participation in EADS-led projects. This commission has not yet delivered its final report, but the intention to give Spain a 10% slice of the A380 has certainly been confirmed." Ring suggests that this concession could be related to an effort to appease Spanish investors, as only 7.5% of EADS shareholders are Spanish-based: 5.6% is held by SEPI and about 2% by local investors through the Madrid stock exchange. "Spanish investors are under-represented and EADS shares have not achieved the necessary movement to make it to the [Spanish stock market index] Ibex," Ring says.

An EADS Casa source says that Spanish participation of 10% in EADS's capital structure would be considered "more adequate" than the current 7.5%, adding that while SEPI's commitment to stay within EADS's core of strategic shareholders expired last year, there are no plans for any changes or disinvestments.

Source: Flight International