Potential legal penalty of MDKK 60 toward Atea Denmark
With reference to previous stock exchange notices with the latest notice on March 2, 2017, Atea Denmark is under prosecution as the legally responsible entity for bribery and embezzlement carried out by four former leading employees during a period between 2009-2014.
The district court of Glostrup began hearing the case on October 10, 2017. Today, 9. April 2018, the prosecutor has asked for a penalty toward Atea A/S (Atea Denmark) of DKK 60 million (USD 10.5 million) in the event of a conviction. Atea Denmark maintains that it is not guilty of the charges, and this message is not an acceptance of guilt or penalty. Since the start of the case Atea has argued that this is a case about possible embezzlement and not bribery. The verdict in the case is expected in late May 2018.
“I am surprised by the size of the prosecutor’s proposed penalty, but am positive toward the prosecutor’s clear recognition of the proactive collaboration Atea A/S has had over a long period with the police, as well as the comprehensive measures our company has taken to prevent future misconduct,” commented Steinar Sønsteby, CEO in Atea ASA.
Under Danish law, a company can be held legally responsible for actions undertaken by employees. In this case, indictments have been placed against four former leading employees in Atea. If these employees are convicted, Atea Denmark can be held legally responsible. In the event of conviction, the cost of the potential penalty will be expensed in Atea’s financial statements as of the date of conviction, in accordance with IFRS.
“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 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
- The Atea Group has established a thorough compliance system, including comprehensive control procedures
- 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.
Atea has a zero tolerance policy toward corruption and unethical behavior. The measures taken by Atea are designed to reinforce this policy and ensure that the company is a safe and reliable partner for our customers and vendors.
For further information, please contact:
Steinar Sønsteby, CEO Atea ASA, mobile (+47) 930 55 655
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. https://www.atea.com