Airbus ordered to pay $99m fine in Eurofighter case

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus on February 9 said it had agreed to pay a fine of 81.25 million euros ($99 million) to end a German corruption probe into the 2003 sale of Eurofighter jets to Austria. (AFP)
Updated 09 February 2018
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Airbus ordered to pay $99m fine in Eurofighter case

FRANKFURT: German prosecutors have ordered Airbus to pay 81.25 million euros ($99 million) to settle one of two investigations into alleged corruption surrounding the sale of Eurofighter combat jets to Austria in 2003, the two sides said on Friday.
The settlement includes an administrative fine of 250,000 euros and “disgorgement” — which legal experts broadly define as the recovery of ill-gotten gains — of 81 million euros.
Munich prosecutors have been investigating whether Airbus issued bribes to win the $2 billion contract: charges it denies.
In a statement, prosecutors said they had not found evidence of bribery but that Airbus had been unable to account for over 100 million euros in payments to two shell companies.
EADS, as the main Airbus parent group was known at the time, sent funds totalling a triple-digit-million euro amount to Vector Aerospace LLP and City Chambers Limited, they added.
Most of these funds, by evading internal control mechanisms, had been used for what the prosecutors said were “unclear purposes,” adding it could not be finally determined what the funds had been spent on.
Airbus said in a statement the penalty, which it had agreed to pay, related to the “negligent breach of supervisory duties” by unidentified members of Airbus Defense and Space’s former management.
The former managers failed to ensure proper controls that would have prevented payments to “business partners” without the company getting proven services in exchange.
Airbus regularly uses the term “business partners” to refer to foreign sales agents or intermediaries.
It is being investigated separately in France and Britain over the handling of agents in the sale of commercial jets.
While Friday’s settlement ends the Munich investigation, Airbus and individuals including Chief Executive Tom Enders, who headed the company’s defense business from 2000 to 2005, face an ongoing investigation in Vienna into the Eurofighter deal.
Airbus and Enders have denied wrongdoing and accused the Austrian government of playing politics with the investigation.


South Korea’s LG Group chairman dies from illness at 73

Updated 20 May 2018
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South Korea’s LG Group chairman dies from illness at 73

  • The chairman of South Korea’s LG Group, Koo Bon-moo, passed away on Sunday after a year-long battle with brain disease
  • Prior to its chairman’s death, LG Group had established a holding company in order to streamline ownership structure and begin the process of succession

SEOUL: The chairman of South Korea’s LG Group, Koo Bon-moo, instrumental to transforming the country’s fourth-largest conglomerate into a global brand, passed away on Sunday after a year-long battle with brain disease.
LG Group said in a statement Koo, 73, had been ill for a year.
A group official said Koo had been fighting a brain disease and had undergone surgery. The official declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“Becoming the third chairman of LG at the age of 50 in 1995, Koo established key three businesses — electronics, chemicals and telecommunications — led a global company LG, and contributed to driving (South Korea’s) industrial competitiveness and national economic development,” LG said.
Under Koo’s leadership, the conglomerate changed its corporate brand to LG from Lucky Goldstar and sold LG’s semiconductor business to Hyundai, now SK Hynix Inc, under government-led restructuring in the wake of the Asia financial crisis in the late 1990s.
Major affiliates are LG Electronics Inc, display maker LG Display and electric car battery maker LG Chem.
Prior to its chairman’s death, LG Group had established a holding company in order to streamline ownership structure and begin the process of succession.
The country’s powerful family-run conglomerates are implementing generational succession amid growing calls from the government and public to improve transparency and corporate governance.
LG Corp, a holding company of the electronics-to-chemicals conglomerate, said on Thursday its longtime chairman was unwell and planned to nominate his son to its board of directors in preparation for a leadership succession.
Heir apparent Koo Kwang-mo is from the fourth generation of LG Group’s controlling family. He owns 6 percent of LG Corp. and works as a senior official at LG Electronics.
The senior Koo’s younger brother, the group’s vice chairman Koo Bon-joon, who led LG Electronics for many years, effectively managed the conglomerate in his stead.
South Korean prosecutors said this month they raided LG Group’s head office as part of a probe into alleged tax evasion by family members controlling the conglomerate.
Analyst do not see a change at the helm being disruptive to the group’s business.
“Although Koo passed away at a relatively early age, his son has been already in a senior position and I don’t think there will be a big change in governance structure or strategic decisions,” said Park Ju-gun, head of corporate analysis firm CEO Score.
The company said Koo’s funeral would be held privately at the request of the family.