SocGen to pay $1.1bn to end LIA Law Suit

By John Lee.

French banking giant Societe Generale (SocGen) and the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) have announced that they have resolved all matters between them concerning the disputed financial transactions that have been the subject of long-running legal action in the English High Court.

According to the joint statement, the terms of the settlement are confidential, but Reuters cites a SocGen spokesperson as saying that the company would pay 963 million euros as part of the agreement.

The joint statement continues:

Societe Generale wishes to place on record its regret about the lack of caution of some of its employees. Societe Generale apologises to the LIA and hopes that the challenges faced at this difficult time in Libya’s development are soon overcome.”

The LIA claims that SocGen paid at least $58.5 million as a bribe to a Panamanian-registered company called Lenaida, controlled at the time by Libyan businessman Walid Giahmi. The court was examining connections between Giahmi and Gaddafi’s son Saif, and whether these had any bearing on the LIA’s decision to make the trades.

Law firm Mishcon de Reya, representing Walid Giahmi, confirmed that the case against their client has also been discontinued, with the LIA being liable for Mr Giahmi’s costs.

(Sources: Société Générale, Reuters, Mishcon de Reya, The Telegraph)

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