CORRECTED-Deere says SEC ends foreign payment probe with no action

Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:35am EST

(Corrects headline and text to show focus on Russia and nearby countries came from media reports, not from Deere)

BOSTON Jan 10 (Reuters) - Deere & Co on Thursday said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has concluded an investigation into whether it had made improper payments to foreign officials without taking enforcement action.

The probe had begun in the summer of 2011, when the SEC began investigating claims that the world's largest maker of agricultural equipment had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribes. Press reports at the time said the probe focused on activity in Russia and nearby countries.

Deere did not disclose what country the probe focused on.

The company said it was pleased with the outcome of the probe.

Russia's fast growth has made it a very attractive market to makers of construction, forestry and agriculture equipment. (Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)

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