The U.K. Serious Fraud Office confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the activities of London-based Amec Foster Wheeler for allegations of bribery, joining U.S. authorities in their bribery investigations into the energy services company.
In a statement, the SFO confirmed 12 July that it has “opened an investigation into the activities of Amec Foster Wheeler and any predecessor companies owning or controlling the Foster Wheeler business, together with the activities of any subsidiaries, company officers, employees, agents and any other person associated with any of these companies for suspected offences of bribery, corruption and related offences.”
In April 2017, Amec Foster Wheeler said in a securities filing that it “had received voluntary requests for information from, and continues to cooperate,” with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice “regarding the historical use of agents by Foster Wheeler, primarily in the Middle East, and certain of the company’s other business counterparties in that region.”
In addition, the company said it “has provided information relating to the historical use of third parties by Foster Wheeler and certain of its operations to the DOJ and SEC in other regions. The company has also made a disclosure to the U.K. Serious Fraud Office.”
The investigations concern ties to Monaco-based Unaoil.
On 11 July 2017, Amec Foster Wheeler formally confirmed that it had been informed by the SFO about the opening of its investigation. “The investigation focuses on the past use of third parties and possible bribery and corruption and related offences,” Amec Foster Wheeler stated.
“Amec Foster Wheeler takes its obligation to conduct business ethically very seriously and has in place a robust global anti-bribery programme, including a detailed code of conduct and anti-bribery and corruption policies,” the company stated. “Amec Foster Wheeler continues fully to co-operate with, and assist, the SFO.”
Amec Foster Wheeler added that the SFO’s investigation is not expected to have an impact on the completion of its merger with Scotland-based energy services company John Wood Group, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.