Leighton Shares Dive on Iraq Corruption Allegations

By John Lee.

[UPDATE: In January 2017, Wal King, former CEO of Leighton Holdings, received an apology and an out-of-court settlement from Fairfax Media following their claim that he knew of alleged corporate misconduct, including the payment of a $42 million bribe in Iraq.]

Shares in the Australia's Leighton Holdings, Australia’s biggest builder, fell more than 10 percent on Thursday following reports that former executives knew of alleged corruption at the company in Iraq.

Leighton allegedly paid bribes to win contracts, and former chief executive officers Wal King and David Stewart were aware of the conduct, according to a report that follows a six-month investigation by the Fairfax Press.

A handwritten note from November 2010 allegedly shows that Mr King approved $42 million in kickbacks to "a firm in Monaco nominated by Iraqi officials" for a $750 million oil pipeline contract.

In July of last year, the company sacked a senior manager, whom it did not name, as part of its probe into allegations of bribery.

(Sources: Businessweek, ABC, Yahoo!)

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