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Liquor Maker Beam Investigates Practices in India Operations

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Beam Inc., the maker of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Canadian Club liquors, said it’s investigating its operations in India after a report of possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“Based on a routine internal audit of operations in India, we are taking a closer look at the actions of certain individuals and practices in the India business,” Clarkson Hine, a spokesman for the Deerfield, Illinois-based company, said yesterday in an e-mail. Beam won’t disclose details of the review, he said.

The company’s investigation centers on whistle-blower allegations of financial misconduct at its India unit, the Times of India reported Oct. 11, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. The U.S. law bars corporate employees or their agents from paying bribes to government officials to get or retain business or to secure an improper advantage.

Beam has asked India senior management to stay away from work during the investigation, according to the newspaper.

The company “is committed to the highest standards of business conduct,” Hine said. “India is an attractive market for Beam and we’ll continue investing in our future growth there.”

Beam rose 0.5 percent to $56.80 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 11 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Burritt in Greensboro at cburritt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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