UK says EADS-BAE decision in companies' hands

British Defense Minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday a decision on a proposed merger between EADS and BAE was in the companies hands and that the government was awaiting their verdict.

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

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

He declined further comment.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Matt Falloon)