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Danish coatings maker resolves global bribe case

Hempel A/S said Monday it paid about $33.4 million to enforcement agencies in Denmark and Germany to resolve allegations of bribery.

The company said it discovered "illegal sales practices" in April 2017 "in Germany, other countries in Europe and in Asia."

It self reported the bribery to the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime.

Hempel A/S and Hempel (Germany) GmbH paid total combined fines of $33.4 million to the Danish prosecutor and to the Prosecution Authority in Kiel, Germany.

The Copenhagen-based company makes coatings used in marine applications for the oil and gas industry, boat builders, and others. It employs about 6,500 people in 80 countries. Revenues last year were about $1.5 billion.

A statement accompanying Monday's release of Hempel's annual report said the "unlawful practices were stopped immediately and the people responsible were replaced."

The company said it has "completed internal remediation, invested heavily, and established a robust compliance framework."
Hempel cooperated with authorities in Denmark and Germany, it said.

CEO Henrik Andersen called the illegal sales practices "a direct attack on the integrity of Hempel’s customers, culture, values and all our colleagues.”

He said Hempel has since made "substantial investments internally and externally to prevent compliance issues from happening in the future" and to regain customers' trust.

"That is the price we have had to pay for being non-compliant. We have cleaned up and moved on,” Andersen said.


Harry Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.