The Company wishes to respond to extracts of conversations made public by Jonathan Taylor and the stories around it produced by Quote and Folha de S. Paulo.
- Taylor left SBM Offshore on 6 June 2012, on the basis of a mutually agreed termination initiated by himself. Any materials that he took pre-date his departure and thus stem from the early stages of the investigation.
- The quotes on which the Quote story is based come from conversations that were secretly taped by Mr. Taylor. In those conversations leading questions were asked by Mr. Taylor and the responses have been purposely put out-of-context to create an impression of a cover-up. These tapes were later used by Mr. Taylor in his attempt to extort € 3 to 4 million from the Company.
- One example is a conversation secretly taped by Mr. Taylor between Mr. Hepkema and himself which took place in May 2012 when the investigation was in full swing. In that conversation, Mr. Hepkema asked Mr. Taylor to stop interfering with the investigation of outside counsel and SBM’s internal investigation team for Mr. Taylor’s own private purposes.
- Early 2012, at the outset of the investigation, the Company froze payments to all sales agents including Brazil to avoid the possibility of any continued potentially improper payments. The Company also subjected all sales agents to a rigorous internal review and validation process in order to determine whether or not the Company would continue to use these agents.
- There was no cover-up. The Company published the start of the investigation and self-reported it to the authorities with the arrival of Mr. Hepkema in April 2012. Throughout the two years of the investigation, the Company has kept the authorities and the investor community regularly informed.
- Mr. Hepkema’s e-mail (written on the 3rd day in his new assignment and one of many communications on the topic) was aimed at keeping the investigation on an orderly track, with initial focus on the two countries that were first flagged following the start of the investigation in January 2012. Brazil was properly investigated at a later stage of the investigation, first by outside counsel and SBM’s internal investigation team, whose findings were published in the Company’s press release of 2 April 2014, and then by the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office, which published its findings in its press release of 12 November 2014.
The Company regrets that the repetition of the malicious allegations by Mr. Taylor continues to lead to negative publicity whilst in fact the Company has been transparent in all of its actions in this matter.