CT-based company discloses potential foreign bribery violations

NEW BRITAIN — Toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker said that it has discovered transactions related to its international operations that possibly violated federal anti-bribery law. 

New Britain-headquartered Stanley has voluntarily disclosed those dealings to the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission and is cooperating with those agencies’ investigations, according to the company’s 2022 annual report, which was submitted last week to the SEC. The report said that the transactions “may raise compliance questions” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids companies from paying bribes to foreign government officials to help obtain or retain business. 

“The company is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance and is continuously focused on ensuring the effectiveness of its policies, procedures and controls,” the report said. “The company is in the process, with the assistance of professional advisors, of reviewing and further enhancing relevant policies, procedures and controls.” 

Through a spokesperson, Stanley Black & Decker declined to comment on the matter beyond what was stated in the annual report. 

Messages left Wednesday for the Department of Justice andSEC were not immediately returned. 

Stanley did not specify in the report where the violations might have taken place. The company has about 60,000 employees and operates in 60 countries, according to its website

The annual report also said that, as previously disclosed, the company had identified certain expenses incurred in previous years that “constituted undisclosed perquisites.” It said that the company had informed the SEC and was cooperating with the agency’s investigation of that matter.  

“Any determination that the company’s expense and perquisite reporting practices were not in compliance with existing laws or regulations or that certain transactions relating to the company’s international operations were not in compliance with the (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) could result in the imposition of fines, civil or criminal penalties, equitable remedies, including disgorgement, injunctive relief or other sanctions against the company,” the report said. “The company also may become a party to litigation or other legal proceedings over these matters.”

For 2022, Stanley produced revenues of nearly $17 billion, up 11 percent year over year. But headwinds such as high inflation and supply-chain complications have recently affected Stanley’s financial results. Related to those challenges, the company last year embarked on a “global cost reduction program” that aims to save about $1 billion by the end of 2023. 

The company refuted in October what it said was an “inaccurate” Wall Street Journal article that reported the company had cut about 1,000 finance positions.

Source link

Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *