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AEROSPACE
Lawsuit looms for EADS over A380: lawyers

by Staff Writers
Frankfurt (AFP) Nov 16, 2010
A group of investors is preparing to take EADS to court in a multi-million-euro case over how the European aerospace giant announced production delays of its A380 superjumbo, lawyers told AFP Tuesday.

More than 100 institutional investors, holding around 20 percent of EADS floating shares, have joined forces to launch a case in the Netherlands, said Christian Wefers, from the German branch of US law firm DRRT.

The damages involved "are of the order of 800 million euros (1.1 billion dollars) at least," said Wefers, whose firm is representing the investors.

"The complaint is ready. We expect to lodge it before the end of the week" in a Dutch court, the lawyer added.

Wefers declined to name individual plaintiffs but a report in the Financial Times Deutschland said that a previous case against EADS, scrapped in early November, involved investment funds belonging to Deutsche Bank and UBS.

The investors believe that EADS provided insufficient information to the markets between 2006 and 2009 when its A380 superjumbo was beset by production delays.

Similar cases brought against EADS until now have failed but Wefers said: "I think we have a good chance of success."

"EADS knew there were going to be delays in production and nothing was said," said Pieter Koetsier, from the Dutch law firm Kennedy van der Laan.

EADS on Tuesday said it was confident the latest lawsuit would also fail.

"Very recently, the Amsterdam appeals court rejected a request for an inquiry into possible bad management in connection with delays to the delivery of the A380," an EADS spokesman said.

"EADS expects that the Amsterdam civil court, which will have to consider such a case, will come to the same conclusions."



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