Nordion Inc. investigates possible violations of anti-corruption laws
OTTAWA - Medical isotope seller Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) is conducting an internal investigation into potential improper payments or other possible violations of anti-corruption laws in the U.S. and Canada.
The Ottawa-based company said Wednesday the inquiry will focus on a foreign supplier and "related parties" stemming from concerns related to both the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The company said it has discovered potential compliance irregularities related to "potential improper payments and other related financial irregularities in connection with the supply of materials and services to the company."
It said the investigation is being conducted by outside legal counsel and accounting firms, who will report to a special committee of the board.
The company did not provide any additional details into the nature of the potential breaches.
Nordion also said it has voluntarily contacted the Canadian and U.S. departments of justice, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
It said the investigation is still in the early stages and the company's advisers will continue to provide the authorities with reports on progress.
"Nordion is committed to the highest standards of integrity and diligence in its business dealings and to the ethical and legally compliant business conduct by its employees, representatives and suppliers," it said in a statement.
"The company reviews its compliance programs on a regular basis to assess and align them with emerging trends and business practices."
Nordion is Canada's seller of medical isotopes that are used in cancer tests and treatment, medical imaging and other technology.
The company's main supplier of medical isotopes, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's National Research Universal reactor in Chalk River, Ont. returned to service in May after a planned 30-day maintenance shutdown.
There was a global shortage of medical isotopes when the federally-owned NRU reactor was shut down in May 2009 because of a leak that took more than a year to repair.
The shortage caused a political furor and raised concerns by doctors and other health professionals about the availability of medical tests for Canadians.