MILAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Finmeccanica reiterated it has
always done business in India through official channels,
rebutting media reports its helicopter unit had used two agents
to secure a contract.
In an emailed statement, AgustaWestland said on Sunday it
had never appointed two men named in press reports as agents or
intermediaries in its VVIP helicopter programme.
In India companies are not allowed to use agents in
contracts of this nature.
An Italian anti-corruption probe centering on a 560 million
euro ($724.4 million) Indian helicopter contract (the VVIP
programme) has targeted Finmeccanica chairman and chief
executive Giuseppe Orsi, who has denied wrongdoing.
The probe, triggered by allegations of an ex-Finmeccanica
employee who is himself under investigation, focuses on alleged
kickbacks paid to secure an order of 12 helicopters India
awarded in 2010
Meanwhile, a recent report in the Indian Express said an
official in the Indian army had asked for a $5 million
backhander to help AgustaWestand win another bid for 197 light
"AgustaWestland is astonished that the press refers to a
memorandum which is unknown, directly or indirectly, to the
company and is related to a programme other than the VVIP," the
company said, adding it had been excluded from the bid since it
had not met tender requirements.
"AgustaWestland confirms its relations with the Indian
Ministry of Defence have always been conducted through the
official channel, in line with all applicable rules," it said.
Finmeccanica head Orsi has been steering the loss-making
group through a restructuring, but has been weakened by news he
was being investigated in the Indian probe.
($1 = 0.7733 euros)
(Reporting By Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)