Financial police summons former EADS co-head

Noel Forgeard, former co-head of European aerospace group EADS, is to appear before the French financial police unit as part of a probe of insider trading said to have occured when shares were sold just before an A380 delay was announced.


Noel Forgeard, former co-chief executive at European aerospace group EADS, has been called to appear before the French financial crime unit in connection with a probe into alleged insider trading, sources close to the matter said Monday.

They said Forgeard, who resigned in July 2006, was to appear Wednesday.

A judicial investigation was launched in November 2006, following complaints from an association of small shareholders and other parties, into possible insider trading at EADS, the parent company of aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The plaintiffs alleged that a number of EADS executives, including Forgeard, sold shares in the company prior to an announcement in June 2006 of major delays to the Airbus A380 superjumbo program. The announcement triggered a sharp slide in EADS shares.

To date, no one has been placed under formal investigation by Judges Xaviere Simeoni and Cecile Pendaries.

But in April the French financial market regulator, the AMF, said it had found evidence of possible insider trading on the part of 17 EADS executives as well as the group's principal shareholders -- the French media and technology company Lagardere and German automaker Daimler.

Reports at the time said Forgeard was among those named by the AMF.

Forgeard has denied any wrongdoing.

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