Rolls-Royce says SFO begins formal bribery investigation
LONDON (Reuters) - Aerospace and defense group Rolls-Royce said Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had launched a formal investigation into concerns raised a year ago of possible bribery and corruption in China and Indonesia.
Rolls Royce, the world's second-largest maker of aircraft, said last December it had passed information to the SFO relating to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in overseas markets.
Rolls-Royce said at the time that it could face prosecution over the allegations.
"We have been informed by the Serious Fraud Office that it has now commenced a formal investigation into these matters," Rolls-Royce said on Monday.
Shares in the company were down 0.1 percent at 1041 GMT (5:41 a.m. EST), lagging Britain's blue-chip index which was up 0.4 percent.
"This is just the next step in the process," Liberum analyst Ben Bourne said of Rolls-Royce's announcement.
The SFO has been reviewing the findings of Rolls-Royce's internal probe since earlier this year.
Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of Indonesia's late president, in November denied allegations that he received bribes from Rolls-Royce.
A source familiar with the matter said last December that the allegations related to the "distant past". Continued...