The SFO, which spent years chasing BAE Systems over bribery allegations, formally launched a criminal investigation in August into allegations that European defense group EADS bribed Saudi Arabian officials to win a contract.
Rolls-Royce’s operations span the civil aerospace, defense, marine and energy sectors and the company did not disclose which units were involved. It has almost 2,000 employees across Greater China, including joint ventures, and the country’s operations contributed 934 million pounds in revenue in 2011, making it the group’s fourth biggest market.
The British company, which reported overall sales of 11.2 billion pounds in 2011, is heavily involved in China’s civil aviation and energy industry. Its website says every major airline in mainland China is a long-term customer, with its engines powering 370 aircraft with 166 more on order.
Last year it won a contract to supply gas compression equipment for China’s West-East Pipeline Project - the world’s longest natural gas pipeline.
Indonesia is a relatively small market for Rolls-Royce, which caters to civil, defense, marine and energy customers in the country, including supplying engines to carriers and the air force. It also supplies propulsion systems and marine equipment to its naval and commercial ships.
Anti-corruption body Transparency International ranked China and Indonesia the 80th and 118th most corrupt countries out of 174 in its perceptions index published Dec. 5.
Based on evidence provided by Rolls-Royce on its anti-corruption systems, Transparency International ranked the company in the third tier of six in an October study of the global defense industry.
Other British aerospace and defense companies such as BAE and Meggitt were deemed to be more open about anti-corruption measures and went into the second tier.
“In other cases, the largest negative fallout has been on the company’s reputation,” said RBC analyst Robert Stallard, adding that such investigations tended to be lengthy.
Rolls-Royce’s history dates back to 1884 and the electrical and mechanical business established by Henry Royce. Having built his first motor car in 1904, Royce then met Charles Rolls, who sold quality cars in London, and the two agreed to manufacture a range that would bear the name Rolls-Royce.