Wires

UK could accept equal German, French BAE/EADS stakes -minister

BIRMINGHAM, England, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Britain is preparedto explore the possibility of France and Germany both havingequal, single-digit stakes in any merger between defence firmsEADS and BAE Systems , Defence Secretary PhilipHammond said on Monday.

"I think if we were at that position it would be possible toconstruct something. Whether we would end up getting there Idon't know but it would be worth exploring," he said, referringto parity in German and French stakes.

Hammond also said Britain was not prepared to shift itsdemand that France reduces its stake in the proposed new companybelow 10 percent.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas, editing by Matt Falloon)

((mohammed.abbas@thomsonreuters.com; +44 (0) 207 542 7947;))

Keywords: BAE EADS/BRITAIN