The agreement reached by the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, to pay more than 4,000 million dollars to authorities in France, the United Kingdom and the United States, in order to file investigations for bribes and offers of gifts to finalize the sale of their Aircraft in seven countries of the world, among which is Colombia, set the alerts on Avianca Holdings immediately.
Since January 30, when the firm based in Toulouse (France) accepted the billionaire agreement, the directives of the company based in Colombia, which have not yet been notified of any matter in relation to the case, they decided to initiate a complete internal investigation to establish the way the agreements were given for airplane purchases from this manufacturer.
For this, the international law firm Ropes & Gray was hired, with the purpose of conducting an independent internal investigation into the commercial link between Avianca and Airbus and thus determining whether Avianca was the victim of improper or illegal actions and a senior manager, allegedly .
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“The agreement between Airbus and the authorities contains very delicate and worrisome accusations about the actions of an Avianca individual in the period prior to March 2016,” said the company’s chief executive, Anko van der Werff.
The situation made it necessary not only for the company to make a pronouncement to the market, through the Financial Superintendence, but yesterday, in the morning hours, the manager sent an internal communication to his collaborators, in which he explained that said investigation will make a complete traceability of the purchase processes, reviewing in detail the commercial relationship with Airbus.
“I assure you that we will move as quickly as necessary, and each and every one of the results of our investigation will be made available to the competent authorities”, Says a part of the internal communication that knew THE TIME.
The agreement between Airbus and the authorities contains very delicate and worrisome accusations about the actions of an Avianca individual in the period prior to March 2016
Although the company has not been notified of the terms of these agreements, the internal investigation is focused on the negotiations registered between 2014 and 2016, for which a kind of data archeology will be developed.
Meanwhile, according to the information that Avianca Holdings discloses to the market in its consolidated financial statements, by 2012 it had 70 firm orders with Airbus with scheduled deliveries between 2013 and 2019, as well as 21 purchase options, while at the end of 2013 The number of orders was 64.
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By December 2014, the number of purchase orders in force with this company had dropped to 52 aircraft, but In December of that year the company significantly increased orders to Airbus, after signing a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 100 aircraft of the A320 neo family, with deliveries between 2019 and 2024.
However, in recent years, as a result of the financial crisis that began to go through Avianca Holdings, its directives decided to renegotiate some of the agreed purchases, and from an initial total of 128 units, the total figure dropped to 88 at the beginning of January, date on which 108 deliveries were pending.
In addition to the case of Colombia, the international investigation revealed fraudulent practices in sales campaigns in China, South Korea, Russia, Nepal, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates, according to the approval ordinance of the Judicial Convention of Public Interest (CJIP) disclosed by the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA). For example, in China, to close the sale of 40 aircraft, the European manufacturer financed a cooperation fund with up to 24.2 million euros between 2012 and 2017.
ECONOMY AND BUSINESS – TIME