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Airbus reaches agreements with French, UK and U.S. authorities over investigations into bribery and corruption


February 4, 2020
By Wings Staff

Airbus on January 31 announced it has reached final agreements with the French Parquet National Financier (PNF), the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) resolving the authorities’ investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption.

Airbus also reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the DoJ to resolve their investigations into inaccurate and misleading filings made with the DoS pursuant to the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Airbus has taken significant steps to reform itself and to ensure that this conduct will not reoccur. Airbus has significantly enhanced its compliance system under the supervision of an Independent Compliance Review Panel. The Company is committed to conducting business with integrity.

“The settlements we have reached today turn the page on unacceptable business practices from the past. The strengthening of our compliance programs at Airbus is designed to ensure that such misconduct cannot happen again,” said Denis Ranque, chairman of the board, Airbus. “The agreements also reflect that the decision to voluntarily report and cooperate with the authorities was the right one.”

Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, added: “The agreements approved today with the French, UK, and U.S. authorities represent a very important milestone for us, allowing Airbus to move forward and further grow in a sustainable and responsible way. The lessons learned enable Airbus to position itself as the trusted and reliable partner we want to be.”

Airbus has agreed to pay penalties of approximately €3.6 billion ($5.3 billion in Canadian funds) plus interest and costs to the French, U.K. and U.S. authorities. The settlements with each authority are: PNF €2.083 billion, the SFO €984 million, the DoJ €526 million and the DoS €9 million.

Airbus’ statement about the final agreements, includes specifics in relation to each governmental authority as detailed below:

Convention Judiciaire d’Intérêt Public with the PNF
Airbus has agreed to enter into a Convention Judiciaire d’Intérêt Public with the PNF. This agreement does not amount to an admission of liability. Under this agreement, the PNF has agreed to suspend prosecution of Airbus for a duration of three years. Prosecution will be discontinued if Airbus complies with the terms of the agreement throughout this period, which it is committed to doing. The agreement also contains an obligation for Airbus to submit its compliance programme to targeted audits carried out by the Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA) over a period of three years.

Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the SFO
Airbus has agreed to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the SFO. This agreement does not amount to an admission of liability. Under this agreement, the SFO has agreed to suspend prosecution of Airbus for a duration of three years. Prosecution will be discontinued if Airbus complies with the terms of the agreement throughout this period, which it is committed to doing. In light of the continuing monitorship to be conducted by the French Anti-Corruption body, the AFA, no independent compliance monitor will be imposed on Airbus under the agreement with the SFO.

Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DoJ
Airbus has agreed to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DoJ. Under this agreement, the DoJ has agreed to suspend prosecution of Airbus for a duration of three years. Prosecution will be discontinued if Airbus complies with the terms of the agreement during this period, which it is committed to doing. No independent compliance monitor will be imposed on Airbus under the agreement with the DoJ.

Consent Agreement with the DoS
Finally, Airbus has agreed to enter into a Consent Agreement with the DoS. Under this agreement, the DoS has agreed to settle all civil violations of the ITAR outlined in Airbus’ voluntary disclosures identified in the Consent Agreement, and Airbus has agreed to retain an independent export control compliance officer, who will monitor the effectiveness of Airbus’ export control systems and their compliance with the ITAR.