News Release25 April 2023
BAT reaches agreement with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
- Agreement reached with DOJ and OFAC to resolve investigations into BAT’s historical business activities in relation to North Korea from 2007-2017
- BAT ceased all business activities related to North Korea by September 2017
- No impact on Full Year 2023 Group guidance; investigations previously disclosed and provisions made in 2022 Half Year Report
BAT today announced that it has reached agreement with DOJ and OFAC to resolve previously disclosed investigations into suspicions of sanctions breaches. These concern business activities relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) between 2007 and 2017.
British American Tobacco p.l.c. has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with DOJ and a civil settlement agreement with OFAC, and an indirect BAT subsidiary in Singapore has entered into a plea agreement with DOJ. The total amount payable to the U.S. authorities is $635,241,338 plus interest.
The DOJ resolutions acknowledged BAT’s remediation efforts to date and cooperation.
Under the agreement, BAT cannot make any comment on the documentation published by the investigating authorities, the contents therein, or on related factual matters.
As announced in its Half-Year Report of 27 July 2022, BAT recognised a provision of £450 million (US$540 million), in line with the International Accounting Standards 37 requirements. Its Full Year 2023 Group guidance is unaffected by this announcement.
Jack Bowles, BAT’s Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of BAT, we deeply regret the misconduct arising from historical business activities that led to these settlements, and acknowledge that we fell short of the highest standards rightly expected of us.
“Adhering to rigorous compliance and ethics standards has been, and remains, a top priority for BAT. In recent years we have transformed our compliance and ethics programme, which encompasses sanctions, anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. The significant steps already taken, as well as the continued refinements to the programme that will be made as part of these settlements, will leave us even better equipped to lead a responsible and sustainable business.”
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Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in BAT's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 20-F and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's website, http://www.sec.gov and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the BAT website www.bat.com.