The proposed £28 billion merger of defence giants BAE Systems and EADS is hanging in the balance ahead of a deadline for a deal to be struck.
The boards of the two groups are understood to have met on Tuesday amid reports that the French, German and British governments remain at loggerheads over the level of state ownership of the combined firm.
Under City Takeover Panel rules, BAE and Airbus parent EADS have until 5pm today to announce the terms of the merger or ask for an extension to finalise their plans.
But it is thought the hurdles faced by the groups in securing approval from all three governments and increasingly sceptical shareholders could see the plans scrapped.
It is believed Germany dealt the latest blow to the troubled deal, with reports suggesting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has opposed the merger.