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Airbus Investors Accuse Company of Misleading Reports in Class-Action Lawsuit

Airbus Investors Accuse Company of Misleading Reports in Class-Action Lawsuit
Joe Cortez

More trouble could be coming for French aircraft and defense manufacturer Airbus SE. A class-action lawsuit from investors accuse the company of making “materially false and misleading statements” regarding Airbus’ business, compliance and operational controls.

A group of Airbus SE investors are taking the company to court, accusing the French manufacturer of creating “materially false” statements regarding their commercial aircraft, helicopter and defense operations. In a press release, attorneys for the class say Airbus participated in questionable activities throughout their sales processes.

Lawsuit Alleges “Bribery, Corruption and Fraud” In Commercial Aircraft Sales

The lawsuit is centered around an investigation into Airbus by the British Serious Fraud Office in 2010, shortly after Airbus acquired GPT Special Project Management. Although the U.K. officials were looking into their activities in dealing with Saudi Arabia, the lawsuit claims the corruption charges go much deeper.

Attorneys for the class claim that the questionable activities were implicit in all of Airbus’ operations, including their commercial aviation division. The suit accuses Airbus of making “materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational, and compliance policies.” Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Airbus used bribes throughout their sales process.

“Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose:…that Airbus’s policies and protocols were insufficient to ensure the Company’s compliance with relevant anti-corruption laws and regulations,” attorneys for the class claim in a press release. “That, consequently, Airbus engaged in bribery, corruption, and fraud in order to enhance its business with respect to its commercial aircraft, helicopter, and defense deals…[and] that, as a result, Airbus’s earnings were derived in part from unlawful conduct and therefore unsustainable.”

The class is looking to recover losses from investments into the company, claiming that investments consistently fell after news continued news of the improprieties were reported by major news outlets. The lawyers point to specific reports by The Wall Street Journal and Reuters which may have been responsible for the stock dropping lower. The class has not noted how much they are looking for in settlements.

More Bad News for Airbus After Reporting Dismal First-Half

Although the allegations against Airbus have not been proven in a court of law and a decision has not been made in the lawsuit, it could still create even more potential disruption for the manufacturer. After formally ending their A380 program, the Toulouse-based manufacturer reported significant losses on their first six months of 2020.

According to their six-month report released in July 2020, deliveries dropped in half. As a result, the company took a $2 billion loss between January and July 2020.

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