Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Kimco Realty Corp., the largest U.S. shopping-center owner, said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission related to a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. investigation.
Kimco is responding to the subpoena and will cooperate with the probe, the New Hyde Park, New York-based landlord said today in its annual report filed with the SEC. Kimco also said it was notified that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a parallel investigation.
“At this point, we are unable to predict the duration, scope or result of the SEC or DOJ investigation,” the company said in the filing. The probe is related to “possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Kimco said.
Both U.S. and Mexican prosecutors said last year they were investigating allegations raised in a New York Times report that Wal-Mart bribed Mexican officials to more quickly open stores there.
After the Times report, Wal-Mart officials said they had started a corruption investigation of the Mexican unit and later expanded the probe to the company’s operations in India, China and Brazil. Wal-Mart officials said in November they had assigned more than 300 lawyers and accountants to the investigation and had spent almost $100 million on it.
Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB is the country’s largest private employer, with more than 209,000 employees. Twenty percent of Wal-Mart’s more than 10,000 stores worldwide are in Mexico, following growth over the past decade.
Kimco had 51 properties in Mexico at the end of December, according to a supplemental filing on the company’s website. Revenue from Kimco’s Mexico operations rose to $47.3 million last year from $46.3 million in 2011.
Kevin Callahan, a spokesman for the SEC, and David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, declined to comment on the Kimco subpoena. Michael Passman, a Justice Department spokesman, said in an e-mail that it’s department policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations. David Bujnicki, Kimco’s vice president of investor relations, said the company has disclosed all it could “at this time.”
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