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Friday Roundup

Some light reading to ease you into your holiday weekend.  A News Corp. checkup, ADM’s delayed disclosure, and some news from Canada … it’s all here in the Friday roundup.

News Corp. Checkup

As detailed in this Reuter’s piece by Mark Hosenball and Georgina Prodhan, the News Corp. internal investigation is proceeding as one might suspect.  According to the article, the firm leading the investigation is “looking for anything that U.S. government investigators might be able to construe as evidence the company violated American law, particularly the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act …”.  Lawyers are combing through e-mails and financial records and journalists at other News Corp. U.K. newspapers reportedly have been or will be interviewed as part of the investigation.”

To learn more about News Corp.’s potential FCPA exposure – see this prior post.

ADM’s Delayed Disclosure

From a disclosure perspective, issuers handle FCPA inquiries and investigations across a wide spectrum.  Some disclose the existence of a potential issue or inquiry at the first available opportunity and some never disclose the inquiry and it is not publicly known until the actual enforcement action. 

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) choose a middle option, a delayed (much delayed) disclosure.  Here is what ADM said its most recent annual report filed on August 25th.

“Since August 2008, the Company has been conducting an internal review of its policies, procedures and internal controls pertaining to the adequacy of its anti-corruption compliance program and of certain transactions conducted by the Company and its affiliates and joint ventures, primarily relating to grain and feed exports, that may have violated company policies, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other U.S. and foreign laws. The Company initially disclosed this review to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and certain foreign regulators in March 2009 and has subsequently provided periodic updates to the agencies. The Company engaged outside counsel and other advisors to assist in the review of these matters and has implemented, and is continuing to implement, appropriate remedial measures.”

Canada News

This March 2010 post detailed NGO requests for Canadian authorities to investigate Blackfire Exploration (a privately owned Canadian exploration and mining company headquartered in Calgary) given allegations of payments to a Mexican mayor.  Update.  Canadian authorities recently raided the company’s offices and alleged in an affidavit “that the company funnelled bribes into the personal bank account” of the Mayor “to ensure protection from anti-mining protestors.”  So reports Greg McArthur in this piece from The Globe and Mail.   

Staying up north, this recent post highlighted the Niko Resources enforcement action.  For a dandy read about the facts and circumstances leading to the enforcement action, as well as Canada’s historical efforts in enforcing its “FCPA-like” law – see here from McArthur as well.


A good weekend to all.

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