Canada refuses deal on SNC-Lavalin corruption charges

Shares in Canadian engineering group SNC-Lavalin slumped last week after it revealed that the Canadian government would not allow it to negotiate a remediation deal related to bribery and corruption charges made against the company in 2015 in relation to its dealings in Libya.

After a three-year investigation, Canada’s national police force laid charges against the SNC-Lavalin Group and two subsidiaries, alleging that between 2001 and 2011 the company offered millions of dollars in bribes, and defrauded Libyan officials of millions more.

Three former company executives had previously been charged, including former chief executive Pierre Duhaime.

A Remediation Agreement would have let SNC-Lavalin defer prosecution in exchange for fines, remediation and cooperation.

Its shares fell around 14% to CAN$44.76 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the announcement on Wednesday, 10 October, and closed Friday at CAN$45.08.

SNC-Lavalin’s position is that it comprehensively overhauled itself since the matters came to light in 2012, with complete changes at board and management levels, and a "world-class ethics & compliance framework".

It has defended itself against the charges, and said it would review its option to appeal the government’s decision.

"Since 2012, SNC-Lavalin has developed and built a world-class ethics [and] compliance framework. This has been embodied to the extent that ‘Integrity’ has become one of the Company’s core values, and the Integrity function within SNC-Lavalin has a remit beyond traditional ethics [and] compliance," a statement from SNC-Lavalin said.

Image: One of SNC-Lavalin’s projects, awarded in 2005, is the Canada Line: a 19km, fully-automated commuter rail line in Vancouver (SNC-Lavalin)

Further Reading

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News