MAN To Pay $223 Million Fine

Germany's MAN has agreed to pay nearly $223 million in fines over alleged corruption, the truck maker and judicial authorities said Thursday.

FRANKFURT (AP) -- Germany's MAN SE has agreed to pay nearly euro151 million ($223 million) in fines following an investigation of corruption, the truck maker and judicial authorities said Thursday.

Munich prosecutors in May launched a probe of alleged bribery, saying they suspected a "system to boost sales of trucks and buses" was in place in Germany.

Prosecutors in Munich, where the company is based, imposed fines of euro75.3 million on the company's trucks division and euro75.3 million on its turbo division.

MAN said its units agreed to the fines and the decision "brings to an end the investigations against the companies of the MAN Group on suspicion of ... corruption."

The Munich state court and prosecutors confirmed the fines. Both they and the company said that investigations of individuals suspected of corruption will continue.

MAN said the agreement was possible because its management "took extensive measures to clarify the matter within the company, working closely with the public prosecution authorities."

MAN, which is around 30 percent held by Europe's largest automotive group, Volkswagen AG, itself offered an amnesty to employees willing to provide information and created a new compliance department.

Prosecutors said the fine for the truck division, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG, was a punishment for the management's violation of supervisory obligations. They said in a statement that bribes were paid "in numerous cases."

The MAN Turbo AG unit was fined over bribes paid to win orders between 2004 and 2008 with the involvement or knowledge of a former head of the unit, the Munich state court said.

The turbo unit makes compressors, gas and steam turbines.

MAN has seen a number of senior officials resign in the past weeks, including former Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson. No reason was given for his departure, and he has not been accused of wrongdoing.

The head of the truck division, Anton Weinmann, stepped down last week in what he said was a move to ease a managerial fresh start.

MAN shares were down nearly 0.6 percent at euro52.23 in Frankfurt afternoon trading.

AP Business Writer George Frey contributed from Frankfurt.

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