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Chemical maker discloses FCPA investigation for West Africa payments

Platform Specialty Products Corporation said in an SEC filing Friday that it is conducting a foreign bribery investigation of third-party payments in West Africa.

The chemical maker said payments to third-party agents by a company it acquired in 2015, Arysta LifeScience, may have violated the FCPA.

The payments relate to Arysta’s government tender business in West Africa, the disclosure said.

Platform Specialty Products said it self reported the investigation to the DOJ and SEC.

The investigation is ongoing.

The company is based West Palm Beach, Florida. It sells specialty chemical products in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. It has about 2,500 employees.

Platform Specialty Products trades on the NYSE under the symbol PAH.

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Here’s the full FCPA disclosure from Platform Specialty Products’ Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 11, 2016:

In connection with the implementation of internal controls at Arysta, a newly acquired subsidiary, we discovered certain payments made to third-party agents in connection with Arysta’s government tender business in West Africa which may be illegal or otherwise inappropriate. We have engaged outside counsel and an outside accounting firm to conduct an internal investigation to review the legality of these and other payments made in Arysta’s West Africa tender business, including Arysta’s compliance with the FCPA. We contacted the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice to voluntarily inform them of this matter and we are fully cooperating with these governmental authorities as the investigation continues and as they review the matter. Although the internal investigation is ongoing, based on the results to date, management does not currently believe that the amount of the payments in question, or any revenue or operating income related to those payments, are material to our business, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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