Two officials in charge of the state’s investments in publicly traded companies finally met last week with the lawyer who led Yara International’s own investigation into its bribery scandal. They claimed to be satisfied with the insight they gained but didn’t offer any details.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Mette I Wikborg and Reier Søberg of the state ministry for business and trade met with Jan Fougner of law firm Wiersholm in Oslo. Fougner led Yara’s internal probe that was launched in 2011 into bribery allegations at the company.
Only excerpts of the results of Yara’s own investigation have been publicly released and it was unclear whether the state would get the information it sought, even though the state is Yara’s single largest shareholder. Yara, which last month agreed to pay the largest fine ever lodged against a company in Norway, ended up agreeing to release Fougner from his confidentiality agreement.
Neither Wikborg nor Sørberg, who once sat in Yara’s board election committee, would reveal details of their meeting with Fougner, other than to say they received a “comprehensive account” of Fougner’s findings. The state ministry repeated that it considered the corruption case at Yara to be “extremely serious” and remind the business community that it has “null tolerance” for for bribery.