x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ferrostaal fined $183m in two-year bribery case

Ferrostaal, the German engineering company with part-Abu Dhabi ownership, has been fined $183 million in a bribery case.

Ferrostaal was majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) until last month.  Volker Hartmann / AP
Ferrostaal was majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) until last month. Volker Hartmann / AP

The German engineering company Ferrostaal has been fined US$183 million (Dh672.2m) in a bribery case that ends its involvement in a two-year corruption investigation.

The penalty was part of a judgement in a Munich court this week that found two former employees guilty of paying bribes to win contracts.

Ferrostaal was majority-owned by Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) until last month. Commodore Contracting, an Abu Dhabi construction company, has a 25 per cent stake in Ferrostaal's new owner, MPC Industries.

The judgement ends Ferrostaal's saga in German court, although criminal charges are pending in Greece against 29 people in connection with payments made to secure a submarine order.

Ferrostaal and MPC cast the trial's judgement as a chance to put the investigation behind them.

"As we already stated at the beginning of the trial, we expressly distance ourselves as executive board from the practices followed at the time of the previous management," said Jan Secher, the chief executive of Ferrostaal. "We are prepared to bear the legal consequences and pay the fine.

"A great burden now has been taken from our company, our employees, partners and customers."

Ulrich Bieger, a spokesman for MPC, said: "The past is ended now with this process, and we are talking about a new beginning. For the company, it's over."

MPC is part of Münchmeyer Petersen and Company Holding, a family-owned conglomerate based in Hamburg. Commodore declined to comment.

Ipic bought its 70 per cent stake in Ferrostaal for $700m in 2009, a year before the German company was implicated in the corruption investigation. The allegations ignited a dispute between Ipic and MAN, the German lorry maker that had sold the stake, over whether Ipic would have to buy the rest of Ferrostaal to comply with the original acquisition contract.

ayee@thenational.ae

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