Global aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. will pay $384 million to settle charges that its subsidiaries paid bribes to government officials in Bahrain to maintain a source of business, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.
"As the beneficiary of a long-running bribery scheme perpetrated by a closely controlled subsidiary, Alcoa is liable and must be held responsible," said George Canellos, co-director of the SEC's enforcement division. "It is critical that companies assess their supply chains and determine that their business relationships have legitimate purposes."
According to regulators, Alcoa's Australian subsidiary hired a consultant with ties to Bahrain's royal family as a middle man to negotiate with government officials and arrange payments so Alcoa could be a supplier to the plant.
Alcoa will pay $175 million in a settlement with the SEC and will also pay a criminal fine of $209 million for the bribery charges, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
Alcoa shares were down $0.26, or 2.4%, Thursday to $10.57.