Board members of EADS, the parent company of Airbus, allegedly learned about production problems to the A380 superjumbo just before they sold millions of euros worth of shares. Former Airbus boss Noel Forgeard and the other top executives have always denied having early knowledge of the project’s problems which caused EADS shares to drop dramatically in value.
But French newspaper La Tribune said Airbus’ Technical Director admitted “significant” delays to the A380 were discussed at a board meeting in March last year. A short time later Forgeard made just over 2.5 million euros when he sold 108,000 EADS shares and exercised stock options for 54,000 more.
That sale and others by EADS executives are now the subject of the French stock market regulator’s investigation into possible insider trading. The French co-president of EADS, Arnaud Lagardere, is one of those reportedly being questioned. His company, the Lagardere group, and the German car-maker DaimlerChrysler both sold part of their stakes in the aerospace company just weeks before the company announced the delivery delays that sent EADS share prices plunging.