The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an inquiry into whether defense contractor Raytheon Co. or its partners made improper payments in the Middle East.
Raytheon received a subpoena from regulators as part of an investigation into the company and a joint venture with France’s Thales SA, Raytheon said in a securities filing Wednesday.
The SEC has asked for information about payments by Raytheon, the joint venture or any intermediaries acting on their behalf in certain Middle Eastern countries dating back to 2014, the company said.
Raytheon didn’t say when it had received the subpoena. Company spokesman Mike Doble said Raytheon was cooperating with the SEC’s inquiry.
"We take any suggestion of misconduct seriously and we are examining whether there has been any conduct that is in violation of Raytheon policy," he said.
Thales didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Raytheon’s joint venture with Thales, which stretches back in 2000, allowed the companies to combine some of their air defense and radar businesses.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits companies from paying bribes to foreign public officials.
Raytheon has had past brushes with the anticorruption law. An internal review in 2009 turned up possible areas of concern with regard to compliance with the FCPA, the company said at the time.
The matter came to a close in 2013, when the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department told Raytheon they had completed their own reviews of the company’s disclosure and wouldn’t be recommending enforcement actions.
Raytheon last year announced plans to merge with United Technologies Corp., a combination that the companies have argued would allow them to address changing defense priorities and budget pressures. UTC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Write to Dylan Tokar at [email protected]
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