CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-based Albemarle has agreed to pay $218 million to resolve federal investigations into allegations it bribed government officials in multiple foreign countries.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission were investigating the publicly traded specialty chemicals manufacturing company for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Albemarle self-reported the misconduct in its refining solutions business, which is part of its catalyst segment now known as Ketjen. Albemarle announced its brand launch of Ketjen in January 2023, a wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Houston that provides catalyst solutions for the petrochemical, refining and specialty chemicals industries.

“The actions taken by a limited number of former employees and third-party sales representatives happened years ago and do not represent the nearly 8,000 Albemarle employees who abide by our comprehensive Code of Conduct every day,” the company said in a statement. “Those responsible for these past actions were held to account and separated years ago.”

Albemarle terminated 11 employees and withheld bonuses from 16 employees as part of this case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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