March 17, 2021

John Wood Group pays over £ 6 million in legacy bribery investigation after self-reporting to Scottish authorities

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of Scotland announced on March 16, 2021 that WGPSN, a subsidiary of Aberdeen, Scotland-based holding company John Wood Group PLC, would pay a civil penalty of over £6.46 million to resolve an investigation related to bribe payments in Kazakhstan.  According to the COPFS, a WGPSN subsidiary, PSNA Limited, had paid approximately $8.74 million to Unaoil through a joint venture, in order to secure contracts for the provision of services to oil, gas, chemical and petrochemical facilities in Kazakhstan beginning in 2008. 

Wood acquired PSNA Limited after the alleged misconduct took place, and conducted an internal investigation following March 2016 media reports about widespread corruption involving Unaoil. In May 2017, Wood submitted the results of its internal investigation to the COPFS, and followed this submission with a formal report in May 2017.

The holding company and its WGSPN subsidiary have agreed to pay £6,465,564, the amount of dividends and profits derived from the Kazakhstan contracts, pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  Wood has, according to COPFS, taken measures to enhance its anti-bribery policies and training.

On the same day as the COPFS announcement, Wood released its full year results for 2020, in which the company noted that it was nearing a resolution of investigations by UK, US, Scottish and Brazilian authorities, and anticipated that the matters would be settled at an aggregate cost of $197 million by 2024, including the $46 million the company reserved in March 2020.

COPFS news release | Wood news release | 2020 financial results