Bloomberg News

Wal-Mart Says It Has Started Internal Anti-Corruption Probe

December 09, 2011

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has begun an internal investigation into whether some of its actions violated U.S. anti-corruption laws.

The company is probing permitting, licensing and inspections of stores, according to a regulatory filing today, and has disclosed the investigation to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing didn’t say where the actions in question took place. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, has also hired legal counsel and other advisers to assist in the probe, the filing said.

“We cannot reasonably estimate the potential liability, if any, related to these matters,” the filing said. “However, based on the facts currently known, we do not believe that these matters will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.”

Wal-Mart said the investigation came out of information gleaned earlier this year from an internal review of policies for its global anti-corruption compliance program.

“This is consistent with our desire to be transparent to all of our stakeholders,” David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said in a telephone interview. He declined to provide further information.

Wal-Mart fell 0.9 percent to $57.98 today in New York. The shares have gained 7.5 percent this year.

--Editors: Robin Ajello, Stephen West

-0- Dec/08/2011 23:06 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Boyle in New York at mboyle20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net -0- Dec/08/2011 22:37 GMT


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