ROLLS-ROYCE DEALING WITH CORRUPTION
Rolls-Royce, one of the UK’s biggest manufacturing exporters, is set to pay £671m to settle bribery and corruption cases with UK and US authorities. Rolls-Royce makes engines for military and civil planes, as well as for trains, ships, nuclear submarines and power stations. The aerospace firm is going to pay £497m plus costs to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which started investigating claims in 2012 of wrongdoing overseas. Rolls-Royce said it had also agreed to pay £141m to the US Department of Justice, and a further settlement would see it pay £21.5m to Brazilian regulators. Concerns about bribery and corruption were passed by the firm to the SFO in 2012, but it did not give further information on which countries were involved but it is believed that some of the allegations dated back more than 10 years. They involved Rolls-Royce’s local companies that handle sales, distribution, repair and maintenance in countries where the British firm does not have enough people on the ground. The SFO confirmed it had reached a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Rolls-Royce, which would be subject to approval by a court on Tuesday. It is only the third such agreement that the SFO has struck since they were first introduced into UK law in 2014. They allow organizations to pay huge penalties, but avoid prosecution, if they freely confess to economic crimes such as fraud or bribery.
SOUTH KOREA TO ARREST SAMSUNG CHIEF
South Korea’s special prosecutor is searcing for an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, who is accused of bribery, fraud and perjury. Since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, Mr. Lee is considered de facto boss of the entire Samsung Group conglomerate. He is now dealing with a scandal in which Samsung is accused of giving donations to non-profit foundations operated by a friend of the former country’s president, Park Geung-hye, in exchange for government favours. The scandal led to the impeachment of Mr. Perk. Seoul Central District Court must now decide whether to go ahead and issue the warrant. If this happened, Mr. Lee would be the first executive to be arrested in connection to the scandal. Samsung said the issuing of the arrest warrant was “hard to understand”.
RAY-BAN MAKER MERGING WITH RIVAL
Luxottica, the Ray-Ban and Oakley owner, and the world’s biggest glasses maker, has agreed a €46bn merger with a rival eyewear firm. The Italian eyewear designer is to merge with French lens maker Essillor, the world’s biggest maker of prescription lenses. The firm said in 2014 that it had previously explored a deal with Esillor, but that conditions were not right at the time. Mr. Leonardo Del Vecchio founded Luxottica in 1961. and since then it went through a series of acquisitions and has made the firm become the world’s biggest spectacles maker. However, it has gone through three chief executives in the past two years after Mr. Del Vecchio regained executive powers at the company. Questions about Mr. Del Vecchio’s succession plans have also weighed on the firm’s share price, which is down 14% in the past year. “The marriage between two key companies in their sectors will bring great benefits to the market, for employees and mainly for all our consumers,” Leonardo Del Vecchio said in a statement.