PARIS (AFP) ― The U.S. magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its 2012 person of the year for scuppering a major tie-up between the aerospace groups EADS and BAE Systems.
The specialized publication described Merkel on Monday as “Europe’s most powerful leader” and noted that she had “the most impact on aerospace in 2012” because “she had blocked the $45 billion merger between European Aeronautics Defense and Space Company (EADS) and Britain’s BAE Systems (BAE), successfully devastating the deal.”
Aviation Week editor-in-chief Joseph Anselmo added: “Angela Merkel possesses a distinct skepticism about majestic visions of European integration, and as a result killed the EADS-BAE tie-up for purely political reasons.”
EADS and BAE Systems had agreed on a merger plan that would have created a group bigger than U.S. rival Boeing, but the tie-up never happened, owing mainly to opposition from Germany, a key EADS shareholder that had reservations about its impact on jobs in particular.
France, another EADS shareholder, had backed the deal, which would have created a dominant global aerospace player with its headquarters in Toulouse, southern France.
“Germany’s veto shows the extent to which the European aerospace industry is under political control,” Aviation Week managing editor Jens Flottau said.
“Regardless of whether or not the merger would have been a commercial success, it was certainly blocked for the wrong reasons.”