Canadian firm 'disappointed' Britain cancels helicopter bid

9th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Canadian helicopter maker CHC on Tuesday acknowledged possible ethics violations led to the scrapping of an eight billion euro (11 billion dollar) tender for helicopters in Britain.

At the same time, the company said in a statement it was "disappointed" by Britain's decision announced earlier to cancel the search and rescue helicopter programme.

"In November of last year CHC became aware that a small number of its employees acting without its knowledge or authorization of the company's senior management may have violated the company's high standard of ethics during its participation in the competitive bid process," CHC said.

"As soon as CHC became aware of the perceived irregularities it upheld those standards" by immediately informing the British government, and cooperating fully with the government, it added.

CHC was part of the Soteria consortium that also included Thales and Sikorsky, which had been in line to run Britain's search and rescue helicopter service starting in 2012.

It planned to operate a fleet of heavy lift helicopters for the 25-year contract.

But UK secretary of state for transport Philip Hammond said the consortium had access to "commercially sensitive information" for the bid.

© 2011 AFP

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