Saturday, October 25th8.6°C
23888

SNC-Lavalin, WSP receive authorization to bid on public contracts in Quebec

MONTREAL - SNC-Lavalin and WSP Global, two of Quebec's largest engineering firms tainted by allegations of corruption and fraud, are now free to bid on public contracts across the province.

Quebec's securities regulator said Wednesday that it has given its authorization after months of investigation.

The firms have passed all checks from the province's anti-corruption squad and have ensured that all people associated with alleged improprieties have left the companies.

"These companies have put in place governance measures and very robust and strong internal controls to prevent fraud and corruption," said Sylvain Theberge, spokesman for L'Autorite des marches financiers.

WSP must provide quarterly updates on its efforts to prevent fraud and corruption, while SNC must submit periodic reports from the same independent expert updates its progress to the World Bank.

The development bank barred an SNC-Lavalin subsidiary and more than 100 affiliates from bidding on World Bank Group-financed projects for up to 10 years over alleged bribes for a bridge project in Bangladesh and an undisclosed project in Cambodia. The Canadian International Development Agency also said it was ineligible to bid on projects it funds because of the World Bank sanction.

Since December 2012, AMF approval has been required before companies can sign or renew big public contracts or subcontracts in Quebec.

The Montreal-based firms join about 270 companies that have been granted AMF approval to date, including most of the province's large construction and engineering entities. Authorization has only been denied for a handful of applicants.

The authorization, valid for three years, is required for public contracts over $10 million or contracts with the City of Montreal valued at more than $100,000.

WSP Global (TSX:WSP), formerly known as Genivar, and SNC-Lavalin have been highlighted at a provincial corruption inquiry.

SNC-Lavalin, which employs more than 6,400 employees in Quebec, welcomed the decision which follows efforts over the last two years to implement an ethics and compliance standard across the company.

"I believe that with this certification, SNC-Lavalin has taken an important step in its goal to become a standard of excellence in ethics and compliance in its industry. It's the start of a new era for SNC-Lavalin," said CEO Robert Card.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) also said it remains committed to working with the Quebec government to reach a "comprehensive, final and fair" settlement to address past infractions.

Analyst Pierre Lacroix of Desjardins Capital Markets said AMF's authorization won't have a significant impact on either company's financial results because Quebec represents only a small portion of their annual revenues.

"However, we believe that today's announcement is a critical step in positioning SNC and WSP to bid on several big ticket transportation and power projects in the province in the next three to five years," he wrote in a report.

WSP said it will now bid on several large contracts, including the Turcot highway near Montreal, the new Champlain bridge and a suburban Montreal transit project.

Spokeswoman Isabelle Adjahi said WSP is one of the three short-listed groups for Turcot and is talking to potential partners for a Champlain bridge bid.

Maxim Sytchev of Dundee Capital Markets said the AMF's blessing help to remove the "corruption overhang" for the firms.

For SNC-Lavalin, "the clean bill of health from the regulator" will help the public perception about the company, he said, pointing also to momentum from the awarding of contracts and impending concessions asset sales.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, SNC-Lavalin's shares gained 85 cents at $46.55, while WSP was up eight cents at $33.11.

Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A earlier version incorrectly said authorization was required for construction projects over $40 million.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23433


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14543.82+56.99
S&P CDNX805.45-3.15
DJIA16805.41127.51
Nasdaq4483.715+30.923
S&P 5001964.58+13.76
CDN Dollar0.8901-0.0003
Gold1231.20+2.10
Oil81.02-0.73
Lumber336.40+6.80
Natural Gas3.631+0.009

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.105-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.07+0.015
Anavex Life Sciences0.194-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.045+0.005
Russel Metals33.39+0.23
Copper Mountain Mining2.03-0.05
Colorado Resources0.145+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.012-0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.445+0.035

 



22831

FEATURED Property
1883108128 Watershed Rd, Enderby, Grindrod
10076564 bedrooms
$495,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


What I learned in China

Photo: ContributedI will never be an expert on China. It is just too big, too complex and too old with layers of history and meaning that would take several lifetimes to unravel. As I said to my hosts...


We can get on together

I was in LA this week. I witnessed such crazy and unusual circumstances as I strolled along Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. A far cry from sleepy Peachland in the Okanagan! The strange thing was, I f...


Weakening global growth worries

The Big Picture Growth worries persist Worries about weakening global growth and its potential impact on the US economic recovery roiled markets around the globe this week. Europe continues to be the ...

_








Member of BC Press Council


23691