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BAE deal discussed with France and Germany
Mr Cameron discussed the plans with President Francois Hollande by phone yesterday(MON 24) morning, having talked to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday evening, said Downing Street.
Although the merger is a commercial deal, the approval of all three governments in London, Paris and Berlin will be needed if it is to go ahead.
The British Government holds a so-called golden share in defence contractors BAE, which means it can veto any merger or takeover of the company.
BAE has said that the planned tie-up with Airbus owner EADS will form a ''world-class'' company in its sector, with combined sales of £60bn and about 220,000 staff. The merged group would employ about 48,000 in the UK alone.
The two companies have until October 10 to finalise terms.
APPLE RUN: Technology firm Apple has sold more than five million of its new iPhones in three days despite customer grumbles about some of its software. Fans of the brand flocked to shops to get their hands on its newest bit of kit when it went on sale on Friday. In London almost 1,300 people queued outside Apple's flagship store in Regent Street, while some camped at the company's shop in Covent Garden for up to a week. The sales figures were announced as a new survey found Apple has taken Aston Martin's title as the UK's coolest brand.
MERGER MOOTED: The firm behind fizzy drink Irn-Bru put the focus on its own performance yesterday as it got ready for a potential merger with Britvic. Cumbernauld-based AG Barr posted an 8 per cent drop in underlying half-year profits to £14.9 million but said its 2.8 per cent growth in sales volumes was favourable compared with a 1.5 per cent decline in the wider market for take-home soft drinks. Higher raw material costs - particularly sugar - and the wet summer weather have also impacted the industry, which is increasingly promotions driven. Barr said merger talks with Britvic were ongoing, adding that sales in the first seven weeks of its second half have shown double-digit growth, up from the 5 per cent rise in turnover to £130 million for the first half.