Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Kuwait Is Investigating Military Helicopter Deal With Airbus: Accusations of corruption have put Europe’s largest plane and helicopter maker in regulators crosshairs

Kuwait said Wednesday it is investigating a military helicopter agreement with Airbus SE. Tom Enders is chief executive of Europe’s largest plane and helicopter maker.

The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall
Dec. 20, 2017 2:57 p.m. ET

LONDON—Kuwait said Wednesday it was investigating a military helicopter deal with Airbus SE, adding to the pressure on the European aerospace giant that is facing management turnover and multiple fraud investigations.

A Kuwaiti government spokesman said a deal for military transport helicopters was referred to the country’s National Anti-Corruption Commission as well as the State Audit Bureau on request of the prime minister, according to Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA. Airbus had no comment.

Airbus in recent years announced two deals with Kuwait for the helicopter type subject of the probe. It disclosed a deal for 24 of them in 2015 and another for a further 30 last year. Both deals have a price tag over $1 billion. It wasn’t immediately clear which deal was under review, or the nature of the alleged infraction.

Accusations of corruption and other wrongdoing have put Airbus, Europe’s largest plane and helicopter maker, in the crosshairs of regulators, including in the U.S. French authorities in November raided Airbus’s offices as part of an investigation into business conducted in Kazakhstan.

In the U.S., France and Britain, authorities also are investigating the company’s unsanctioned use of middlemen to win deals.

In Austria, its actions are being investigated about alleged misdeeds in a combat jet deal more than a decade ago. Chief Executive Tom Enders is among those being investigated. Airbus has said it cooperating with the probes.

Airbus last week said Mr. Enders would leave the company at the end of his current contract in 2019. The company said the move was part of its succession planning.

Also leaving Airbus is commercial plane boss Fabrice Brégier, who will exit next year, the company said. He is being replaced by Guillaume Faury, head of Airbus’s helicopter business.

Mr. Enders has warned that resolving the regulatory issues could take years and be costly.

—Nicolas Parasie contributed to this article.

Original article can be found here ➤

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who has worked in Europe (or in the third world) knows that this is how most big competitive deals get done. What's surprising is that anyone is surprised. This should just be an average PR problem, but now the press is involved so everyone pretends to be in shock. I'd like to see a summary of the Golden Parachutes, but that's confidential.

    Like the North Koreans they'll just find another way to do the deals, there's too much at stake not to.