UK says EADS-BAE decision in companies' hands

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - British Defence Minister PhilipHammond said on Wednesday a decision on a proposed mergerbetween EADS and BAE was in the companies hands and that thegovernment was awaiting their verdict.

"We are waiting for an announcement from the companies - thecompanies are dealing with it now," Hammond told Reuters whenasked about the proposed merger.

"They had a board meeting yesterday afternoon evening. Weare waiting to hear their announcement which I understand has tocome today," he said. "It is not for me to say who is doing what- it is the companies that now have the decision in theirhands."

He declined further comment.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Matt Falloon)

((guy.faulconbridge@thomsonreuters.com; +442075424758;))