FILE PHOTO – The Air France-KLM company logo is seen during the company’s half-year results in Paris, France, August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A 2019 move by the Dutch government to buy a 14% stake in Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) was not in accordance with the country’s laws, the Netherlands’ Court of Audit ruled on Wednesday.
The government purchased the shares without informing parliament as part of a campaign to increase its influence over Air France’s KLM subsidiary, arguing that if it had announced its intention publicly, it would have violated insider trading rules and increased the cost.
But, in a surprise ruling, the court said under the country’s constitution, ministers “must inform parliament of such transactions in advance,” and not present them with a done deal after the fact.
“In our opinion, the transaction was therefore irregular,” it said.
Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by John Stonestreet
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