ABB nears deal to resolve third U.S. bribery case against it – report (NYSE:ABB)

ABB headquarters in Krakow, Poland

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ABB (NYSE:ABB) is nearing a deal to pay ~$325M to resolve bribery allegations in South Africa, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, which would make the company a third-time violator of U.S. anti-bribery laws.

The settlement with U.S., German, Swiss and South African authorities, which likely will be finalized as soon as next week, would resolve corruption investigations into ABB’s (ABB) work on South Africa’s Kusile power plant, according to the report.

The U.S. end of the deal as it is currently being negotiated reportedly would allow ABB (ABB) to avoid pleading guilty at the parent company level; instead, ABB’s parent would enter into a U.S. deferred prosecution agreement, while two of its subsidiaries would plead guilty to charges related to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The company also would not be required to hire an independent monitor to watch over its conduct for a set period, according to the report.

ABB (ABB) said in September it was setting aside a $325M provision to cover remaining settlements with government authorities over Kusile.

ABB’s (ABB) Q3 results included above-average revenue and order growth, as well as the best margins seen in many years, but the next 12-18 months should be more challenging for reported revenue and order growth, Stephen Simpson writes in an analysis posted recently on Seeking Alpha.

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