By Tim Hepher
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Spain plans to sell 1.15 percent of EADS
Spain is reducing its core stake to 4 percent from more than 5 percent as part of a deal with France and Germany to simplify Europe's largest aerospace group.
It had been expected to place the surplus shares inside a non-voting foundation set up to keep national stakes within Dutch takeover rules, but EADS told shareholders gathering to adopt the new structure that Spain would be allowed to sell sooner than expected.
The move will allow Spain to tap into a 39 percent increase in EADS' share price since the beginning of the year to help boost finances severely strained by Europe's financial crisis.
EADS said Spain had been granted approval to sell the shares between the formal adoption of the new structure, which is so far expected to happen next week, and April 9.
EADS shares closed at 40.925 euros on Tuesday, valuing the world's second-largest aerospace group after U.S. rival Boeing
Shareholders meeting in Amsterdam are expected to adopt a radical shake-up in EADS' corporate governance designed to pare government influence while allowing industrial partners Lagardere
Both companies want to concentrate on their core business. France and Germany will have core stakes of 12 percent each but will see their powers to interfere in the business reduced, while the free market float will rise sharply to 72 percent.
EADS shareholders are also expected to authorize a share buyback of up to 15 percent. EADS said it would look at various ways of carrying out the operation in order to retain flexibility and manage any overhang arising from sales of "legacy" shareholders.
($1 = 0.7777 euros)
(Editing by James Regan)