Saipem fined for subsidiary’s Nigeria corruption

By Helen Wright23 July 2013

A subsidiary of Italian contractor Saipem has been found guilty by a Milan court of corruption offenses in Nigeria – decision that resulted in cash of €24.5 million seized pending appeal, and the imposition of a €600,000 penalty.

The case relates to Saipem’s Snamprogetti Netherlands business, which was part of the TSKJ consortium that bribed Nigerian public officials over a decade in order to win contracts to build liquid natural gas plants on Bonny Island.

Snamprogetti was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eni until February 2006 when a deal was reached to sell it to Saipem. Snamprogetti was merged into Saipem in 2008. As part of the deal, Eni, which is also a majority shareholder in Saipem, will indemnify Saipem for potential losses resulting from the investigations into TSKJ.

Snamprogetti reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 under which it paid a US$ 240 million settlement over its role in the TSKJ consortium.

In total, Snamprogetti and Eni paid US$ 365 million to the US Securities & Exchange Commission and DOJ to settle the charges against them.

Saipem said it would evaluate the justification for the new ruling in Milan, and would appeal. It said it believed that there were no valid grounds to consider the company responsible for Snamprogetti’s actions before Saipem acquired it.

Saipem added that the decision by the Milan court would have no financial impact on it under the indemnity agreement with Eni.

The news comes as Saipem is also entangled in a corruption investigation concerning bribery in Algeria.

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