Noel Forgeard, the French co-chief executive of
aerospace firm EADS, has said he will not resign and has nothing to fear from any insider trading investigation.
His statement came as French and German regulators announced they will look into the sale of shares just weeks before EADS’ commercial airliner division Airbus announced further delays on deliveries of its superjumbo A380.
The news that wiring problems had pushed back deliveries of the A380s by another six months
sent EADS share into a nosedive. They lost a quarter of their value, falling to 21 euros having been at 35 euros each in March.
Forgeard said he was among six senior EADS executives who exercised options or sold stock up to 17 March. Regulatory filings show that on 15 March Forgeard sold 162,000 shares making a profit of 2.5 million euros.
French financial regulators will want to know when Forgeard first knew about the possibility of additional delays. He has said it was not until April.
Frederik-Karel Canoy, a lawyer for shareholders, said: “In a period of 15 days a group of people exercised their stock options, a group of people from the management, by chance from the management, there was nobody outside of the management; so they had privileged information on the company.”
Forgeard called the share sale an “unfortunate coincidence.” His three adult children also sold over four million euros worth of stock at the same time, it is not known how much profit they made.