Netherlands-based SBM Offshore included a $240 million provision in its financial statement for the first half of the year in anticipation of a potential settlement for improper sales practices.

In 2012, an SBM internal review flagged improper sales practices involving some of company’s sales agents.

The company brought in outside counsel and forensic accountants to investigate and disclosed its investigation to Dutch authorities and the US Department of Justice.

SBM found that agents in Angola and Equatorial Guinea had made payments to third parties who then disbursed the money to government officials, the Wall Street Journal said.

The investigation also found sales agents gave third parties other items of value although SBM didn’t specify what these items were.

The company said the payments began in early 2012.

SBM’s investigation determined that the company paid $18.8 million in commissions to Equatorial Guinea and $22.7 million in commissions to Angola between 2007 and 2011.

SBM is discussing potential settlement options, the company said.

While SBM doesn’t know what the settlement’s final price tag will be the provision reflects the information currently available to the company.

SMB said it can’t provide further details about the resolution of the compliance issues and can’t assure that a settlement will even be reached.

The company said it will keep the market up to date on new developments.


Leave a Reply