Hunold rejects Air Berlin charges

19th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 June 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Joachim Hunold, the high-profile chief executive of German budget airline Air Berlin, rejected allegations that he had used inside knowledge when buying the company's shares. He spoke hours after prosecutors conducting an insider-trading inquiry searched the offices of Air Berlin in the German capital. Company spokesman Peter Hauptvogel said the prosecutors from the southern city of Stuttgart had asked to see minutes of meetings of both the executive and supervisory boards of t

19 June 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Joachim Hunold, the high-profile chief executive of German budget airline Air Berlin, rejected allegations that he had used inside knowledge when buying the company's shares.

He spoke hours after prosecutors conducting an insider-trading inquiry searched the offices of Air Berlin in the German capital.

Company spokesman Peter Hauptvogel said the prosecutors from the southern city of Stuttgart had asked to see minutes of meetings of both the executive and supervisory boards of the group.

The inquiry had been aimed at one member of the executive board, one member of the supervisory board and three divisional heads.

They were alleged to have exploited their inside knowledge to purchase Air Berlin stock at a favorable time, just before the airline took over its struggling smaller rival, DBA, in August 2006.

Hunold, a media-savvy businessman who has led the airline's rapid expansion, confirmed he was among those named in the inquiry and issued a statement denying the allegations.

"There was no knowing how much or even if the share price of Air Berlin would rise after the announcement," he said. "I first bought shares at the start of June 2006 when a lock-up period imposed on me under stock-exchange rules had expired."

He said all the purchases had been duly reported to financial regulators and disclosed online.

Hauptvogel, who said searches were also made at the homes of the suspects, described the inquiry as "absurd," adding that it involved relatively modest sums of money.

DPA

Subject: German news

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