SBM Offshore: Agents may have paid off African officials

SBM Offshore is a major player in the FPSO market SBM Offshore is a major player in the FPSO market

APRIL 2, 2014 – Netherlands based SBM Offshore today says that an internal investigation has found evidence that agents in Angola and Equatorial Guinea may have made pay offs to government officials. In respect of Brazil, though there were "certain red flags," the investigation did not find any credible evidence that the company or the company's agent made improper payments

In a statement issued today, SBM Offshore said it is presenting the findings of the investigation, which it started in the first quarter of 2012, as the investigators have completed their investigative activities. The investigation, which was carried out by independent external counsel and forensic accountants, focused on the use of agents over the period 2007 through 2011.

In summary, says SBM Offshore, the main findings are:

  • The company paid approximately US$200 million in commissions to agents during that period of which the majority relate to three countries: US$18.8 million to Equatorial Guinea, US$22.7 million to Angola and US$139.1 million to Brazil;
  • In respect of Angola and Equatorial Guinea there is some evidence that payments may have been made directly or indirectly to government officials;
  • In respect of Brazil there were certain red flags but the investigation did not find any credible evidence that the company or the company's agent made improper payments to government officials (including state company employees). Rather, the agent provided substantial and legitimate services in a market which is by far the largest for the company;
  • The company voluntarily reported its internal investigation to the Dutch Openbaar Ministerie and the U.S. Department of Justice in April 2012. It is presently discussing the disclosure of its definitive findings with the Openbaar Ministerie, whilst simultaneously continuing its engagement with the U.S. Department of Justice. New information could surface in the context of the review by these authorities or otherwise which has not come up  in the internal investigation to date;
  • At this time, the company is still not in a position to estimate the ultimate consequences, financial or otherwise, if any, of that review;
  • Since its appointment in the course of 2012 the company's new Management Board has taken extensive remedial measures in respect of people, procedures, compliance programs and organization in order to prevent any potential violations of applicable anti-corruption laws and regulations. Both it and the company's Supervisory Board remain committed to the company conducting its business activities in an honest, ethical, respectful and professional manner.

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