SNC-Lavalin subsidiaries barred from public contracts in Quebec for five years – USA DAILY NEWS

SNC-Lavalin subsidiaries barred from public contracts in Quebec for five years

In a new twist to SNC-Lavalin Group’s bribery scandal, an oversight body in Quebec has banned several of the companies’ entities from bidding on public procurement contracts for five years.

The Autorité des marchés publics (AMP) on Wednesday named six SNC-Lavalin entities to its list of companies that are ineligible to bid on public contracts, known as RENA.

In December, a subsidiary of the Montreal engineering firm, SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc., pleaded guilty to corruption and agreed to pay a $280 million penalty to settle federal criminal charges that its executives bribed Libyan government officials nearly a decade ago in order to win lucrative contracts in the African country.

Miguel Landry, a media relations specialist for the AMP, said the ban was automatically applied to the SNC entities as a result of the guilty plea in December.

“It’s not a decision by us, it’s an automatic ban,” said Landry.

The decision, which cannot be appealed, applied only to the six entities.

The six SNC entities affected by the AMP ban include two Montreal-based entities, SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. and SNC-Lavalin Exploitation Inc. Its Ontario-based and New Brunswick-based SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc. entities were also listed as banned. Two others were also affected, according to Landry.

On Thursday, in response to media inquiries, SNC released a statement saying that its guilty plea presents “near-term risk,” but that “the plea will [not] have any long-term material adverse impact on the company’s overall business.”

SNC shares closed at $32.76, down 0.5 per cent on the day.

The company’s stock has declined 43 per cent since early 2018, around when news reports first surfaced that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to settle with the company.

Since then, it also suffered a series of business setbacks and in July announced a shift in strategy to stop working on high-risk, high reward “lump sum turnkey contracts,” in which it is responsible for cost overruns. Instead, it said it would focus on engineering services, as well as other divisions such as nuclear maintenance.

Asked if the company had any active projects it was bidding on in Quebec that would be affected by the AMO ban, SNC spokesman Nicolas Ryan declined to answer directly.

But he noted the company pulled out of several bids in Quebec when it shifted strategy this summer, including the contract to rebuild the Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine Tunnel in Montreal.

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