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SNC-Lavalin Declines After RCMP Search: Montreal Mover

April 13 (Bloomberg) -- SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. fell after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched the company’s Montreal headquarters.

Canada’s largest engineering company dropped 4.2 percent to C$38.40 in Toronto. It has dropped 25 percent this year.

The RCMP is executing a search warrant at SNC-Lavalin’s head office, the company confirmed today on its website. The investigation is related to “certain individuals who are not or are no longer employed by the company,” SNC-Lavalin said.

SNC-Lavalin is “cooperating fully with all investigations,” the company said in its statement. Leslie Quinton, a spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return e-mails from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

“This investigation is currently ongoing, and we’re not going to answer any more questions or comment on specific details,” said Sergeant Marc Menard, a spokesman for the RCMP.

Former Chief Executive Officer Pierre Duhaime agreed to step down last month after the discovery of incorrectly booked payments for construction projects.

The company said March 26 that an independent review found $56 million in costs, apparently from the hiring of agents, posted to projects to which they weren’t related. Material from the review will be turned over to the RCMP and other authorities, the company said at the time.

SNC-Lavalin named Vice Chairman Ian A. Bourne to serve as interim CEO during the global search for a successor to Duhaime, who stepped into the top job in May 2009.

Duhaime said in May that the company was excluding all Libyan orders from its revenue backlog “as a precautionary measure” because of the revolution in the North African country.

Projects in Libya accounted for about 7 percent of SNC-Lavalin’s backlog when the armed rebellion against deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi broke out last year and all work was suspended. The Globe & Mail newspaper said in January that two SNC-Lavalin executives had ties to Qaddafi’s son, Saadi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at spasternak@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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