Airbus Chairman Backs Company's CEO, Says Corruption Investigation Continues

Airbus SE (AIR.FR) Chairman Dennis Ranque on Thursday said the European plane maker was continuing to investigate corruption allegations and voiced backing for the company's Chief Executive Tom Enders.

Airbus is being scrutinized in several countries, including the U.K., France, Austria and Germany, for potential misconduct in winning deals.

Mr. Ranque said that Airbus in 2014 began investigating payments to intermediaries used to secure contracts. Some of those had raised "red flags," he said, which were brought to the attention of regulators in 2016.

The board is "committed to expose all instances where violations have occurred and to correct the processes and behaviors that enabled these transgressions," Mr. Ranque said in a statement on the company's website.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office began to investigate potential wrongdoing and was later joined by French authorities. The probes came on top of allegations of misdeeds in Austria over the sale of Typhoon combat jets more than a decade ago. Austrian authorities said they were investigating actions by a number of officials, including Mr. Enders.

Mr. Ranque said the company was cooperating with ongoing probes. He added that the board had "full trust and confidence" in Mr. Enders and relied on him to implement changes at the company, including its compliance program.

Mr. Enders in June said the probes into potentially "serious compliance issues" could last years.

The company this year also appointed an outside panel to review its processes.

Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, the British aircraft engine maker no longer affiliated with the luxury cars producer, this year settled fraud charges with U.S., British, and Brazilian regulators after years of investigations. The company paid more than $800 million to settle charges. U.K. regulators are still considering bringing charges against individuals who worked for the company.

Write to Robert Wall at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 12, 2017 06:41 ET (10:41 GMT)