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Kongsberg-Gruppen

Missile Maker Kongsberg Probed for Corruption on Romanian Deals

Kongsberg Gruppen ASA (KOG), the Norwegian developer of a missile for the F-35 fighter aircraft, is being investigated by antitrust authorities in Norway for possible corruption in relation to dealings in Romania.

The investigation, led by the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, relates to deliveries of communications equipment to Romania from 1999 to 2008, Kongsberg said in a statement today.

“Kongsberg was informed about the charges today and the chairman of the board has been informed,” said the company, based in the Norwegian town of the same name. Kongsberg “will cooperate closely with Oekokrim and other relevant authorities to clarify all the facts in relation to the charges,” it said.

The company, in which the Norwegian government owns a 50 percent stake, makes products that include navigation systems for merchant vessels as well as surveillance and weapons control systems. Kongsberg, Norway’s largest defense company, is developing the Joint Strike Missile, or JSM, for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to produce for the U.S. and foreign buyers.

“In the interests of the investigation and those involved, Oekokrim will not comment further at this stage,” the financial crimes authority said in a separate statement on its website.

Shares in Kongsberg declined as much as 5.5 percent, the most since Nov. 19, and traded 2.6 percent lower at 133 kroner as of 3:20 p.m. in Oslo. More than 81,000 shares have traded so far today, almost three-times the average daily volume during the past three months.

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