Bombardier’s sale of turboprops under scrutiny
Feb. 26, 2013, Montreal - Bombardier Aerospace says it has no reason to be concerned about an Algerian investigation into the sale of eight aircraft to a local airline owned by state-run Sonatrach Petroleum Corp., which has been named in an investigation into engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.
February 26, 2013 By The Canadian Press
Spokesman Marc Duchesne said the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer sold the planes directly to Tassili Airlines and didn't use the services of an agent, whose name has come up in connection with contracts won by SNC-Lavalin.
"We follow a very thorough due diligence process and I can confirm that this transaction was conducted in the same manner,'' Duchesne said in an interview.
According to a media report in Algeria citing unnamed sources, local authorities are examining a contract signed in 2006 for four Q400 aircraft worth US$84 million. Four smaller Q200 aircraft were ordered a year later.
Two other aviation companies, Airbus and ATR, also bid on the contracts, but those bids were never made public. A complaint was launched in 2006 on the awarding of the contracts.
Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin attended the signing of the contract in the presence of company officials and Chakib Khelil, then minister of energy and mines, who left his position in 2010 in a corruption scandal.
Khelil is a close friend of Farid Bedjaoui, a Montreal-educated agent employed by SNC-Lavalin to help win at least $1 billion in contracts with Sonatrach, the state-run oil company.
Bedjaoui is suspected of involvement in more than $200 million of payments from several companies in the oil and gas services sector.