Wood Group shares fall 5% after its Amec merger-partner is dragged into Serious Fraud squad bribery probe

Aberdeen-based Wood Group has been dragged into an investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office as a consequence of its take-over of Amec Foster Wheeler.

A Wood Group spokesman said it is not possible to say what impact this will have nor what the outcome of the SFO investigation will be.

An SFO spokesman confirmed: “The <SFO> Director 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.”

The Wood Group spokesman added: “As announced by Amec Foster Wheeler, the investigation focuses on the past use of third parties and possible bribery and corruption and related offences.

“In our prospectus published on 23 May 2017, Wood Group disclosed that information previously provided by Amec Foster Wheeler to the SFO related to matters that may well develop into an investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler by the SFO. 

“It is not possible to estimate reliably what effect the outcome of this matter may have on Amec Foster Wheeler.”

Shares in Wood Group fell 5% after the SFO statement.

A spokesman for Amec Foster Wheeler said that the investigation is ‘not expected’ to have an impact on completion of its planned £2.2 billion pound takeover by the Wood Group, due to be completed by the end of this year.

The SFO is a both a specialist prosecuting authority and a criminal investigation agency tackling the top level of serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption.

This is the second investigation being undertaken by the SFO in the offshore oilfield services sector.

It is (separately) investigating the activities of Petrofac, its subsidiaries, and their officers, employees and agents for suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering and is itself related to the SFO’s ongoing investigation into the activities of Unaoil.

The SFO spokesman added: “We have been approached by a number of sources who may have information relevant to this investigation.  If you have any information please contact us through our secure and confidential reporting channel. When providing information please quote ‘Unaoil investigation’ on the reporting form.

Can you help?

If you have information relating to these investigations, contact the Serious Fraud Office here:

www.sfo.gov.uk/contact-us/reporting-serious-fraud-bribery-corruption/

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