Amec Foster Wheeler doesn’t expect a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation to disrupt its takeover with Wood Group.
The £2.2billion takeover is expected to close in the final quarter of the this year, resulting in 1,200 job losses.
The London-listed firm confirmed the SFO had launched a probe into its business, “predecessor companies and associated persons in respect of the Foster Wheeler business”.
A spokesperson 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 probe is in relation to the SFO’s criminal investigation into Monaco-based consultancy Unaoil.
A spokesperson added: “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.”
A Wood Group spokesperson added: “Wood Group notes the announcement made yesterday by Amec Foster Wheeler plc that the UK Serious Fraud Office has informed Amec Foster Wheeler that it has opened an investigation into Amec Foster Wheeler, predecessor companies and associated persons in respect of the Foster Wheeler business. 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 its circular and prospectus published on 23 May 2017, the company 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.
“As stated in those documents, and as disclosed by Amec Foster Wheeler yesterday, it is not possible to estimate reliably what effect the outcome of this matter may have on Amec Foster Wheeler.”
SFO’s investigation includes a number of other service firms, including Petrofac, AAB and KBR.
Petrofac was forced to suspend its chief operating officer in the wake of the investigation. Read more here.
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