The supervisory board of Thielert AG, the German company that manufactures Thielert diesel aircraft engines and also owns Texas-based Superior Air Parts said in a statement today it has dismissed “with cause” company founder Frank Thielert and cancelled his employment contract in light of preliminary findings of a criminal investigation into the company’s financial affairs. The board also dismissed Chief Financial Officer Roswitha Grosser and cancelled her contract.
As AVweb reported earlier, the company has been under investigation for a couple of years, and in recent months the German courts have invalidated its financial statements from 2003 to 2005. “It is to be assumed that the annual financial statements for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 are probably incorrect and possibly void,” a statement by the supervisory board said.
Up until late Wednesday, Thielert still had a job as the company’s chief operating officer, but the recent action and the resulting plunge in share prices to just .43 Euros – it’s traded as high as 25.22 – seem to put the future of the company at stake. A restructuring plan that included selling more shares to raise needed cash is now on hold. “Investors which had intended to support the company in the implementation of the planned restructuring package under certain conditions, have informed the company on April 23, 2008 that they are no longer willing to provide such support,” the statement reads. “The restructuring measures to deal with the company’s liquidity crisis, as mentioned in the disclosure announcement of April 9, 2008, therefore cannot be implemented as planned.”
An investigative report by Defense Industry Daily said the criminal investigation revolved around allegations that the company had created false invoices and included them as part of their accounts receivables to enhance the financial position of the company.
Why is this bad news? Maybe for more reasons than you think.
Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli blogs about it on AVweb Insider