GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) and Rolls Royce have been forced to wait until next year to know their fate after the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced Yesterday that it a ruling in 2018.
The fraud office announced on Thursday that it plans to make a decision next year on whether GSK and Rolls Royce are guilty of bribery charges brought against them. GSK, which is the biggest pharmaceutical company in the UK has previously been involved in bribery allegations for which it was fined $452 million for bribing doctors to use its drugs. The SFO started to investigate the company in 2014. The European authority has also been carrying out investigations on Rolls Royce after it reportedly paid $870 million to settle bribery allegations in the U.S, Brazil, and Britain.
“I would expect resolution in both these cases in 2018, and hopefully prior to my departure in April,” SFO head, David Green told Reuters during an interview.
Green’s is about to step down from his leadership position
Green also told Reuters that he hopes that a verdict about the charges will be made before he steps down from his leadership position at the SFO where he has been for the past six years. He is expected to step down from the position in April 2018. A spokeswoman representing the Office of the Attorney General which is tasked with SFO appointments revealed that the process of looking for a successor to Green has not yet begun. She, however, pointed out that there is still a lot of time and that the Office will look into the matter of finding a replacement.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May and her conservative party presented a proposal in May to disband the specialist prosecutor and investigator. Its mandates will be tasked to the National Crime Agency (NCA) which was formed four years ago. The aim of this move is to strengthen the country’s response to white collar crime. However, the proposal was harshly criticized by anti-corruption groups, lawmakers and white collar crime lawyers and was eventually dropped.
GSK stock closed the latest trading session on Thursday at $38.90.