Airbus sued over aircraft deals

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Airbus SE is being sued by some former consultants after the earlier discovery of questionable practices related to aircraft sales led the European planemaker to overhaul its business-partner
The review and related legal matters may have a material impact on future financial statements, Airbus said this month in its annual report. It is “too early to determine the likelihood or extent of any liability,” the Toulouse, France-based company said.
The planemaker previously disclosed that it discovered “misstatements and omissions” in some applications for export credit financing related to the use of third-party consultants. The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office and France’s Parquet National Financier subsequently launched investigations into the manufacturer over allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in its civil aviation business.
Credit agencies, including U.K. Export Finance and state institutions in France, Germany and Spain, suspended some of the backstop financing that Airbus uses to help sell commercial aircraft. Airbus is working with relevant agencies to re-establish financing, the company said in the annual report.
The company previously said it dropped the questionable middlemen. In the report, Airbus said it has “engaged legal, investigative and forensic accounting expertise” to review consultant relationships and is “conducting enhanced due diligence” related to middlemen agreements.
Besides the U.K. and French probes, which are being conducted in coordination with each other, Airbus detailed criminal allegations raised in February by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence over the 2003 sale of Eurofighter aircraft, and separate investigations in Germany, France and Greece.
Airbus didn’t specify which consultants have sued the company, how many cases have been filed or the exact nature of the claims. A spokesman declined to comment.

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