Rome

Eni chief executive denies any role in Saipem scandal

Paolo Scaroni says no involvement in Algeria bribery

Eni chief executive denies any role in Saipem scandal

Rome, February 15 - The chief executive officer of Italian energy giant Eni, Paolo Scaroni, on Friday denied any involvement in a bribery scandal related to energy contracts in Algeria. Earlier this month, Scaroni was placed under investigation for suspected international corruption as part of a probe into the Algerian contracts of an Eni subsidiary. "Neither Eni nor I have any involvement in the practices under investigation," Scaroni said during a conference call to discuss the company's 2012 earnings. Investigators are looking into an alleged 200-million-euro backhander given in exchange for contracts for Eni subsidiary Saipem, Europe's largest oil contractor by market value. Judicial sources claim Scaroni met with an intermediary for a Hong Kong company charged with collecting the bribes on behalf of Algerian officials. Earlier in the day, Eni posted a net profit of 7.79 billion euros for the full year 2012, a 13.5% increase over the previous year. Net profit in the final quarter stood at 1.46 billion euros.

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