Authorities Raids Offices in Air Berlin Insider-Trading Investigation

Police raided the offices of Germany's Air Berlin as part of an investigation into claims of insider trading ahead of its acquisition of rival dba last year, the carrier said Tuesday.

The Berlin-based airline dismissed the allegations of illegal acts by management board members even as police raided homes and offices in Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Duesseldorf and Langenfeld.

Shares of Air Berlin fell 2.8% to 16.13 euros at Frankfurt close.

A statement released by the Stuttgart prosecutors office said only that a Berlin-based airline and six of its employees were being investigated.

Air Berlin spokesman Peter Hauptvogel said that five members of the company's management board, including Chief Executive Joachim Hunold, were among those being investigated.

Prosecutors said the investigation centered on claims that 1.5 million euros ($2 million) worth of Air Berlin shares were purchased just ahead of its announcement that it was acquiring Munich-based dba.

Hauptvogel said the stock purchases were made well before Air Berlin decided to buy dba.

Air Berlin flies to destinations across Europe and North Africa.