Merko Was Prepared Before Bribery Conviction (1)
Construction company Merko Ehitus AS, recently fined 800,000 euros for bribing Tallinn city officials, has a way to circumvent its accompanying prohibition on bidding on public procurements, Postimees reported.
Late last year, the construction giant registered a new subsidiary called Merko Ehitus Eesti AS.
The rationale provided by the company at the time was restructuring. "The goal of the change is to separate the management of the corporate group and the Estonian production activity and more efficient distribution of resources between the group's areas of activity. The existing Merko Ehitus AS will become a holding company is not independently engaged in production," read the statement.
Under Estonian law, the subsidiaries of a blacklisted company are not affected by a prohibition.
Harju County Court found Merko Ehitus and one of its subsidiaries to have paid a Tallinn city official bribes in a case that also resulted in the convictions of several other companies and a prominent figure in Mayor Edgar Savisaar's administration.