German defence min surprised by BAE/EADS reports

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Tuesday declined to comment on the state of negotiations between EADS and BAE Systems but said he knew the situation well and was surprised by media reports about it.

Earlier on Tuesday, DPA-AFX reported that the talks had collapsed. Other media reports said France and Britain had come closer to an agreement which would allow the companies to ask for an extension to their merger talks by a Wednesday deadline.

"I don't intend to say anything about the state of negotiations. I am just surprised about all the things that I have read today," he said on the sidelines of a gathering of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.

(Reporting by Angelika Stricker in Brussels; Writing by Michelle Martin in Berlin; Editing by Michael Roddy)