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Eni Confirms CEO Scaroni Probed in Algeria Corruption Case

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Eni SpA Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni is being investigated for alleged corruption in an Italian probe of contracts obtained by its oil services company, Saipem SpA, in Algeria.

“Eni acknowledges that the prosecutor has decided to extend the investigation to include Eni and its chief executive officer,” the Rome-based company said in a stock-exchange statement. Newspaper la Repubblica earlier reported on its website today that Scaroni was part of the probe.

“Eni and its CEO declare themselves totally unrelated to the object of the investigation,” the company said.

Scaroni’s home and office were searched as part of the probe, which focuses on 11 billion euros ($14.7 billion) of Saipem contracts and 197 million euros in alleged bribes, la Repubblica said. Eni is the largest investor in Saipem, Europe’s biggest oil-service provider by market value.

Eni said that it will fully cooperate with the prosecutor’s office in Milan.

Pietro Franco Tali resigned as Saipem’s CEO in December amid the investigation. Saipem in December also suspended the chief operating officer of its engineering and construction unit, Pietro Varone, who also is under investigation in the probe, and another unidentified manager, the Milan-based company said in December.

“Saipem believes that its business activities have been conducted in compliance with applicable law,” it said Dec. 5.

Scaroni, 66, was appointed Eni CEO in June of 2005.

Eni shares fell 4.6 percent to 17.33 euros, its lowest since Nov. 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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