Insider trading report targets ex-Airbus chief

29th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Regulators found that in 2006 seven EADS executives, who were aware that the firm's subsidiary Airbus was facing delays in the production of its A380 superjumbo, dumped their shares.

Paris -- French regulators will seek to punish several former EADS executives including ex-chairman Noel Forgeard for insider trading, officials connected to the inquiry said on Tuesday.

The current head of EADS, German chairman Thomas Enders, will not face sanctions, however, they told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the formal publication of a report by the Financial Market Authority (AMF).

In the report, which has been seen by AFP, regulators found that in 2006 seven EADS executives, who were aware that the firm's subsidiary Airbus was facing delays in the production of its A380 superjumbo, dumped their shares.

Once the problems with the A380 programme became public, EADS shares plummeted. Consequently, the executives who had exercised their stock options before the news broke were accused of insider trading, an allegation which Forgeard denied.

The seven include the firm's French former chairman Forgeard but not Enders -- who was questioned by police on May 20 -- nor major EADS shareholders Lagardere SCA or Daimler.

Lagardere and Daimler between them sold 7.5 percent of the firm's shares and were investigated as corporate entities. In all, the AMF probed 17 suspects. There is also a parallel criminal inquiry.

Once the report is released the AMF may be able to levy fines of up to 1.5 million euros (2.1 million dollars) on the guilty parties, but those accused will have a chance to put their case before the end of the year, probably in November.

AFP/Expatica

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