Atea Denmark ordered by district court to pay penalty of 10 million Danish kroner

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With reference to previous stock exchange notices with the latest notice on April 9, 2018, Atea A/S (Atea Denmark) has been under prosecution as the legally responsible entity for bribery and embezzlement carried out by four former leading employees during a period between 2009-2014.

Under Danish law, a company can be held legally responsible for actions undertaken by employees.

The district court of Glostrup began hearing the case on October 10, 2017, and announced its verdict yesterday evening, June 27, 2018.

The court has found all of the former leading employees in Atea to be guilty. As a result of this verdict, Atea A/S (Atea Denmark) has been ordered to pay a penalty of DKK 10 million (NOK 13 million). This compares to the DKK 60 million penalty proposed by the prosecutor, as described in Atea’s stock exchange notice on April 9, 2018.

“Although we are disappointed by the court’s decision, there are mitigating aspects to the verdict. The reduction of the size of the penalty, from 60 million to 10 million Danish kroner, is by far the most important of these mitigating factors. Based on an overall assessment, we have decided not to appeal the verdict,” commented Steinar Sønsteby, CEO in Atea ASA.

The penalty will be expensed in Atea’s financial statements during Q2 2018. Since Atea Denmark has undertaken a self-cleaning program in accordance with EU legislation, the verdict will not automatically exclude Atea Denmark from competing in public tenders in Denmark. Atea in Denmark will now submit the necessary documentation of its self-cleaning program to the relevant governmental bodies. The verdict against Atea Denmark will not have any legal consequences for Atea’s business in other countries.

“I have on many occasions apologized to all parties which have been impacted by this case,” commented Steinar Sønsteby, CEO of Atea ASA. “Atea strives to be an industry leader in ethics and corporate social responsibility. Since the summer of 2015, Atea has implemented numerous measures to prevent corruption and to ensure compliance with our Code of Conduct and the highest standards of ethics.”

These measures include the following:

  •  Atea Denmark has conducted a “self-cleaning” program in accordance with EU legislation
  •  Atea Denmark has received the highest international anti-bribery certification (ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Systems)
  •  The Atea Group has established a thorough compliance system, including comprehensive control procedures
  •  The Code of Conduct of Atea has been updated and strengthened
  •  All employees of the Atea Group are required to complete a training program and a test in ethics and the Code of Conduct – with zero tolerance for breach
  •  The anonymous whistleblower system has been strengthened for those who wish to report violations of the Code of Conduct or of relevant law
  •  A compliance committee has been established in the Board of Directors (Atea ASA)
  •  The CFO of Atea ASA, Robert Giori, has been appointed as Group Compliance Officer
  •  All business units report on compliance quarterly in order to make sure that the governance systems are working.

For further information, please contact: 

Steinar Sønsteby, CEO Atea ASA, mobile (+47) 930 55 655

About Atea 

Atea is the leading supplier of IT infrastructure and system integration in the Nordic and Baltic regions with 6,900 employees. Atea is present in 87 cities in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Atea delivers IT products from leading vendors and assists its customers with specialist competencies within IT infrastructure services. Atea had revenue of approximately NOK 32 billion in 2017 and is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange.