Aveng says expects price-fixing fine

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RogerJardine

Independent Newspapers.

Former Aveng chief executive Roger Jardine. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - South African construction group Aveng expects to pay a fine for anti-competitive behaviour once a probe into fraud in state and other contracts worth at least 30 billion rand ($3.4 billion) is wrapped up, its chief executive said on Thursday.

“We have absolutely no interest in playing cat or mouse games with any authority. These matters are grave, they are serious and we have to deal with them,” Aveng chief executive Roger Jardine told Talk Radio 702.

“We have told our stakeholders that we do expect to pay a fine.”

Aveng is one of several construction companies being investigated for tender irregularities around projects that include the building of soccer stadia for the 2010 World Cup.

The City Press newspaper reported on Sunday that the Hawks, an elite police investigative unit, were also conducting their own probe in parallel with one by competition authorities that began in February 2011.

Referring to the competition investigation, Aveng said it had applied for leniency, a stance that does not equate to an admission of guilt but indicates a willingness to cooperate.

South Africa's largest construction firms include Stefanutti Stock, WHBO and Group Five.

Jardine said Aveng had made provision for a potential fine by competition authorities.

“It's now about taking this industry out of its disgraceful past and putting it on a good footing for its future,” he said. - Reuters


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