Siemens, Europe’s biggest technology group, is in talks with the securities and exchange commission, the US market regulator, and the department of justice on a settlement of the long-running bribery scandal that could have brought a record multibillion dollar fine.
Gerhard Cromme, Siemens chairman, told 10,000 shareholders at the annual meeting this week that negotiations would begin next month with the aim of reaching “a comprehensive and fair settlement”. Estimates of any fine range from $2bn to $5bn.
As internal and external investigations pointed to the involvement of former senior executives in the scandal and future damages claims by Siemens, Cromme appealed for SEC leniency regarding “prosecution and punishment” given the group’s cooperation during the extensive inquiries. The chairman said the discussions could last several months as his aides said both sides expected a settlement.