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Friday
Oct142016

Spanish pharma Grifols lands its second DOJ declination

For the second time in four years, Grifols SA has said it received notice from the Justice Department that an investigation into possible FCPA violations has been closed and the company won't be prosecuted.

The latest disclosure came in an SEC filing on October 7.

The disclosure said,

On 29 September 2016, the United States Department of Justice (the “Department”) notified Grifols that the Department has closed its inquiry into Grifols, concerning possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In its notice of declination to prosecute, the Department acknowledged the full cooperation of Grifols in the investigation.

Barcelona-based Grifols reported another DOJ declination in December 2012. 

The company said in an SEC filing then that the DOJ issued an "official declination to all inquiries related to the possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that were underway since July 2009."

It said the 2012 investigation related to Talecris. Grifols bought Talecris in 2010 for $3.4 billion.

Grifols said in 2012: "These investigations started prior to the acquisition of Talecris by Grifols and correspond to actions carried out when Talecris was part of the Bayer Group."

The Wall Street Journal reported then that an internal investigation at Talecris examined sales in Belarus, Russia, Iran, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Georgia, Libya, Poland, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Talecris notified the DOJ in 2009 of the investigation and "suspended operations in several countries while adding safeguards against foreign bribery, in some cases terminating consultants and distributors," the Wall Street Journal said.

Despite the 2012 declination, in June 2014 Grifols disclosed ongoing corruption investigations across Europe and in South America and Asia.

Part of the 2014 investigation related to sales practices by Talecris Biotherapeutics, Grifols said.

That investigation focused on sales to Belarus and Russia. It also covered "trading practices in Brazil, China, Georgia, Iran and Turkey," Grifols said in the 2014 disclosure.

Talecris, based in North Carolina, was formed in 2005 when private equity firms Cerberus and Ampersand Ventures paid $450 million for the blood-plasma unit of German drug company Bayer.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He'll be the keynote speaker at the FCPA Blog NYC Conference 2016