Weatherford Estimates $100 Million Charge in Second Quarter

Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT), an oilfield-services provider, estimated it would take a $100 million charge in the second quarter to settle allegations of improper sales to nations with sanctions restricting trade.

The charge represents “management’s best estimate of a potential settlement with the U.S. government related to its investigation of alleged improper sales in certain sanctioned countries,” the Geneva-based company said in a statement today.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Weatherford’s participation in the United Nations’ oil-for-food program, according to a March 15 federal filing. The U.S. is also investigating the company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company said. It pulled out of Cuba, Iran and Sudan in September 2007, according to the filing.

Through the end of last year, Weatherford spent $40 million to exit certain sanctioned countries and had $123 million in legal and other fees related to the investigations, according to the March filing.

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