Anti-corruption due diligence in cross-border M&A
Global enforcement of anti-corruption laws is at an all-time high and unlikely to recede any time soon. Accordingly, it is imperative that companies conduct adequate anti-corruption due diligence in connection with their merger and acquisition activity. Failure to do so exposes a buyer to potential successor liability, which can result in huge fines and penalties, often months or years after a deal is closed. Potentially even worse, a buyer who fails to conduct adequate anti-corruption due diligence may find after closing that it has purchased sales that cannot be sustained without illegal bribery.
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For the past 10 months, the US Department of Justice and the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission have advised the public that they are in the process of drafting guidance for companies regarding the requirements of, and prohibitions within, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.