Petrofac shares slip as former executive pleads guilty to bribery charges

PA

The share price of oilfield company Petrofac collapsed by a fifth on Friday after it confirmed that one of its former senior executives has pleaded guilty to a multimillion dollar bribery.

David Lufkin on Thursday admitted three counts of bribery at Westminster Magistrates Court.

The case dates between 2012 and 2018 when Lufkin made offers and payments to help Petrofac win contracts in the Middle East.

Payments of about 30 million dollars (£22 million today) were made, or were due to be made, to win contracts in the United Arab Emirates.

The Serious Fraud Office said that these charges were in addition to a further 11 charges to which Lufkin pleaded guilty in February 2019.

The charges were in connection with corrupt offers around contracts worth 730 million dollars (£535 million today) in Iraq, and 3.5 billion dollars (£2.6 billion today) in Saudi Arabia.

Petrofac on Friday acknowledged the plea by Lufkin, whom it described as a “former employee of a Petrofac subsidiary”.

It added: “Petrofac confirms that no charges have been brought against any group company or any other officers or employees.

“A small number of former Petrofac employees are alleged to have acted together with the individual concerned, although none have been charged.

“No current board member of Petrofac Limited is alleged to have been involved.

“Petrofac’s management is committed to operating at the highest standards of ethical business practice.”

Shares in the London-listed company plunged by 21% on Friday after the announcement was made.

The Serious Fraud Office said: “The SFO’s investigation into the activities of Petrofac, its officers, employees and agents for suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering continues.

“This is an active case and the SFO can provide no further comment at this time.”

Lufkin will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on February 11.

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