The former co-president of Europe’s aerospace champion EADS, Noel Forgeard, has been remanded in custody as French financial police investigate allegations he colluded in massive insider trading. No formal charges have been made, and he has not been formally placed under investigation.
Forgeard is suspected of knowing EADS share price was about to hit the rocks, so he sold large amounts of shares while EADS was still bouyant.
Also in the spotlight are EADS’s main private shareholders, Lagardere and DaimlerChrysler, who sold out as well before the bad news broke, but they are not currently under investigtion. In all 16 other named individuals are thought to have been involved.
The chronology seems damning, with the Forgeard family either extremely lucky, making millions of euros on the share deals, or in the know.
Noel Forgeard paid for the share price collapse with his job, but he received a lucrative eight and a half million euro “golden goodbye”, itself the subject of an investigation.
The trouble all began with Airbus’s blue ribbon project, the Boeing jumbo-jet busting A 380. It was designed to break the American’s monopoly on large long-haul planes. But production delays have hampered its launch, and now, if it is proved Forgeard and others kept mum about the chaos in their factories, they will pay the price.