Many private equity firms and acquisitive corporations look for growth in cross-border transactions. A cross-border merger or acquisition may be good for business, but it's not a move to undertake lightly. Successfully completing this type of transaction requires vigilance on the part of treasury, finance, and risk managers.

That's because acquiring a foreign company and then integrating it into the larger business present unique bribery, corruption, and compliance risks—not only for the acquiring organization, but also for the individuals on its board of directors and management team. The recent proliferation of anti-bribery and anti-corruption (ABAC) legislation, international law enforcement cooperation, economic uncertainty, and volatility in many emerging and rapid-growth markets has intensified these risks. Companies that engage in cross-border merger and acquisition (M&A) activity need to be very careful to avoid the financial, operational, and reputational risks that allegations of bribery could trigger.

The financial risks are significant. High-dollar fines, penalties, and settlements with global enforcement agencies have been well-publicized. Less publicly visible are the costs of thoroughly investigating allegations and remediating any uncovered issues—but these activities can be many times more expensive than the enforcement action itself. In one recent case, a corporation involved in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation paid $75,000 in penalties but spent $12.7 million on legal and other professional services fees.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.