18 Feb 2016
VimpelCom reaches settlements with authorities regarding Uzbekistan investigation
Amsterdam (February 18, 2016) - VimpelCom Ltd. today announces settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (Openbaar Ministerie) (“OM”) relating to the previously disclosed investigations under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and relevant Dutch laws, pertaining to VimpelCom’s business in Uzbekistan and prior dealings with Takilant Ltd. The relevant settlement agreements have been approved by the authorities.
Jean-Yves Charlier, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, said: “Resolving this has been a top priority for VimpelCom. While this has been a very challenging experience for our business and our employees, we are pleased to have now reached settlements with the authorities. The wrongdoing, which we deeply regret, is unacceptable. We have taken, and will continue to take, strong measures to embed a culture of integrity across the group. We have significantly strengthened our internal controls and compliance program. Since the launch of the investigation, VimpelCom has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Group General Counsel, Chief Performance Officer and Group Chief Compliance Officer to drive the necessary change forward.”
As part of the settlements, VimpelCom will pay fines and disgorgements to the SEC, DOJ and OM in an aggregate amount of US$795 million. VimpelCom has agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ, a consent agreement with the SEC, and a settlement agreement with OM. In addition, VimpelCom’s subsidiary in Uzbekistan, Unitel LLC, has entered a guilty plea with the DOJ. VimpelCom has also agreed to oversight by an independent compliance monitor to promote continued, and regular, compliance enhancements across the Company and its subsidiaries. VimpelCom’s cooperation in the investigation and actions in rapidly resolving this matter, together with substantial upgrades to its compliance program, have been recognized by the authorities in the settlements.
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