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Poland Mulls Small Stake in EADS

Dec. 4, 2013 - 11:01AM   |  
Workers build a helicopter at the Military Aviation Factory No1 in Lodz, Poland. A possible bid to acquire a small portion of EADS is intended to boost opportunities for Polish arms companies. (Janek Skarzynski / AFP)
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WARSAW — Poland is considering taking a stake in the European aerospace giant EADS, Polish defense ministry spokesman Jacek Sonta said Wednesday.

"We're examining the possibilities, the pros and cons, that a stake in EADS could offer the Polish arms industry," Sonta told AFP.

"It's a matter of giving Polish arms companies a chance to be present on the European market."

According to the Polish daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Poland would take on stake of up to 2 percent in EADS.

When contacted by AFP, a spokesman for EADS said: "Our shares are on the market, anyone can buy some."

France owns a 12-percent stake in EADS, Germany 10.7 percent and Spain 4 percent.

Poland could pay for its eventual portion by offering stakes in its state-owned defense group PHO, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

EADS is holding a business and investment event this week in Warsaw and the central city of Lodz. More than 200 Polish firms have been invited to meet with EADS officials.

The central European NATO member plans to spend 140 billion zloty (33.3 billion euros, $45 billion) in the coming years to upgrade its military.

Unlike other European countries, Poland has kept its defense budget stable throughout the global financial crisis.

According to law, it is fixed at 1.95 percent of gross domestic product, which this year equals more than 31 billion zloty.

EADS is to change its name in mid-2014 to Airbus Group after its passenger aircraft business.

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