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Keppel says not yet served court papers from EIG funds' racketeering lawsuit

KEPPEL Corp said on Sunday (Feb 11) that it has not yet been served with the court papers relating to a new racketeering lawsuit brought against Keppel Offshore & Marine by certain funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners in the United States.

Keppel's statement came in response to an article published on the Law360 website on Feb 8, titled "EIG Hits Keppel With US$660m RICO Suit Over Brazil Bribery".

According to the report, the EIG funds had launched a US$660 million (S$876 milliom) racketeering suit in New York federal court against Keppel Offshore & Marine pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The lawsuit concerns Keppel O&M's role in a Brazilian bribery scheme connected to a failed drill ship venture, for which Keppel recently reached a US$422 million criminal settlement with US prosecutors.

In its statement to the Singapore Exchange, Keppel said it believes that "the reported cause of action is without merit", and that it would "vigorously defend itself if and when the relevant papers are served".

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In 2016, funds managed by EIG Management Co commenced a civil action against Keppel Offshore & Marine, Sembcorp Marine, Jurong Shipyard and other firms for allegedly participating in an unlawful conspiracy further to which EIG was induced to invest over US$221 million in Sete Brasil Participacoes SA.

Last year, the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled in favour of the Keppel Offshore & Marine and dismissed the aforesaid action.

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