The UK Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler, a UK engineering company set to be acquired by the oilfield services giant Wood Group.
In a statement on Tuesday, Amec Foster Wheeler said it was informed by the SFO that it “has now opened an investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler, predecessor companies and associated persons in respect of the Foster Wheeler business. The investigation focuses on the past use of third parties and possible bribery and corruption and related offences.“
The SFO had informed Amec FW in May that it might launch an investigation.
“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. Amec Foster Wheeler continues fully to co-operate with and assist the SFO,“ the company said.
Amec FW is expected to become a part of Wood Group in an all stock transaction valuing the company at around $2.72 billion. Both sets of shareholders in June approved Wood Group’s recommended all-stock offer for Amec Foster Wheeler, leaving the completion of the merger subject to to relevant clearances from competition authorities in certain countries where both companies operate.
Wood Group in June said it expected that the transaction would complete in the fourth quarter of 2017, Wood Group said on Thursday.
Following the announcement of the launch of the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, Amec FW said it didn’t expect the matter would affect the merger with Wood Group.
The company said: „Given the stage of this matter, it is not possible to estimate reliably what effect the outcome of it may have on Amec Foster Wheeler. However, the SFO’s investigation is not expected to have an impact on the completion of the merger of Amec Foster Wheeler and John Wood Group, which is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.“
The Serious Fraud Office has releases a statement confirming the launch of an investigation, without elaborating much.
The statement reads: “The Director of the Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into the activities of Amec Foster Wheeler plc 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.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff