Former co-president of EADS Noel Forgeard has been released on bail of one million euros, and formally placed under investigation for insider trading. He spent nearly 48 hours under arrest being interrogated by French financial watchdogs, and one condition of his release is that he has no contact with his former office director.
The accusations surfaced back in October that Forgeard had sold off shares before bad news slashed the share price. Small shareholders immediately went to the courts;
“It’s a victory for us, and a defeat for French industry. Managers are hired to lead, not rip off small shareholders”, said their representative.
Shareholders initially opened legal action against “person or persons unknown”, and the police investigation has been a long time finding the trail they believe eventually lead to Forgeard. The 61 year-old insists he is innocent.
What is not in dispute is that he and his children sold off hundreds of thousands of shares, netting millions of euros, just before Airbus, owned by EADS, announced production delays in its new flagship A 380. The share price immediately fell by a quarter.