EADS chief Louis Gallois has scorned the French stock market regulator’s assertions that the company and its executives acted improperly on privileged information, dismissing its findings as inaccurate and without foundation.

Gallois has issued a 10-page document detailing EADS’ reasons for rejecting the Autorite des Marches Financiers’ allegations of insider trading by senior personnel in March 2006, ahead of public disclosures about divestments by EADS’ main shareholders and, later, A380 production problems.

“The position of the investigators seems entirely unfounded, both in fact and in law,” says the document.

It addresses one of the central parts of the AMF’s case – that EADS knew about the A380 delays much earlier than it claimed – by arguing that the AMF “did not seem sensitive” to the complexity of the production process.

EADS says that it spent the six-month period between October 2005 and April 2006 implementing several measures in a bid to resolve problems with the A380’s electrical systems and ensure production stayed on track.

Even though Airbus was still trying various solutions in April 2006, it says the airframer’s management “still believed, in good faith, that such measures would be effective” in solving the production issue.

But Airbus provided a status report in May 2006 showing that these corrective measures had been “ineffective” and that “all the contingencies were exhausted”. Gallois’ document claims that EADS, as quickly as possible, concluded from this status report that A380 production and delivery schedules would slip.

It says the AMF investigation focused heavily on Airbus managers’ concerns about solving the A380 electrical problem, but states: “Those concerns were legitimate and their expression normal in the course of the production process: they were nothing unusual where such a technically-complex programme was involved.

“It seems erroneous to analyse them in the light of what was later discovered to be the true extent of the difficulties involved in the production of this aircraft.”

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Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence (ATI) news

Source: FlightGlobal.com