By Pierre Bertrand

 

ABB Ltd. on Friday was fined 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) by the Swiss attorney general's office for its role in bribery payments linked to the construction of a coal-fired power plant in South Africa.

The Swiss attorney general said ABB Management Services Ltd. acknowledged not having done enough to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa.

"In concrete terms, various ABB employees set up from 2013 on a bribery scheme in order to obtain orders, through excessive payments to subcontractors, for the construction of a coal-fired power plant in South Africa," the office said in a statement. Through the use of at least CHF1.3 million in bribes, ABB in South Africa was able secure orders worth at least $200 million, the office said.

The fine resolves the Swiss criminal investigation into the technology group.

ABB said Friday the penalty is included in the approximately $325 million provision it made earlier this year.

"ABB has reached a full and final settlement with the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland related to the legacy Kusile project in South Africa, awarded in 2015," the company said.

On Thursday, the company agreed to pay approximately $150 million as part of a settlement with South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority relating to investigations connected to the company's work on the Kusile power plant. In 2015, ABB was awarded a contract worth more than $160 million for control and instrumentation systems at the plant, which is run by South African energy utility Eskom.

In the U.S., the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are expected to also resolve their investigations on Friday into the actions of ABB related to its work in South Africa, the Swiss attorney general's office said.

 

Write to Pierre Bertrand at pierre.bertrand@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 02, 2022 05:58 ET (10:58 GMT)

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