(Adds Saipem's statement it will appeal July 11 court decision
MILAN Jan 10 Italy's Saipem used to
be Europe's biggest oil services company. But a corruption probe
and two profit warnings have wiped around 50 percent off its
The company, 43 percent owned by oil major Eni,
says it expects to recover in 2014 thanks to better margins, but
analysts remain concerned over possible cost overruns on
projects and fallout from a probe into alleged corruption in
Here is a timeline of key developments in the Saipem slide
over the past year as the new management team under CEO Umberto
Vergine seeks to steady the ship.
Oct. 24, 2012 - Former Saipem CEO Pietro Franco Tali
confirms full-year guidance for a 2012 net profit of around 1
Dec. 5, 2012 - Tali resigns after news emerges that the oil
services group is being investigated by Milan prosecutors for
corruption over contracts in Algeria.
Jan. 29 - Traders say a stake of 2.3 percent of Saipem
shares is placed at 30.65 euros per share. It later emerges
BlackRock was the seller.
Jan. 29 - Following the stake sale, Saipem shocks the market
when it cuts its 2012 guidance and issues a new forecast for a
2013 profit of 450 million euros.
February - Market watchdog Consob opens a probe into the
profit warning and stake sale.
Feb. 7 - Judicial sources tell Reuters that Eni CEO Paolo
Scaroni is under investigation in the Algeria corruption probe.
Scaroni denies involvement.
Apr. 26 - Saipem says auditors found failings in internal
control systems of the group.
Apr. 24 - Saipem operational review says well positioned to
capture market opportunities and deliver on margin recovery.
Jun. 14 - Saipem issues a second profit warning as fast
worsening relations with Algeria prompt it to forecast a
full-year net loss for 2013.
Jul. 17 - Investigation by external consultants into Algeria
contracts finds no evidence of payments to Algerian officials.
At the same time, Saipem says it is working with U.S. Department
of Justice in an investigation into possible irregularities
involving the contracts in Algeria.
Jul. 2 - Saipem says a drilling rig sinks after an incident
in the area between Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jul. 11 - Saipem is found guilty of international corruption
over contracts in Nigeria. The company says there are no valid
grounds for the ruling and that it will appeal.
Jul. 30 - Saipem appoints a corporate law veteran to its
board to work on corporate governance record.
Aug. 6 - Consob challenges Saipem's accounting practices
regarding a series of contracts and says could force it to book
a charge of 130 million euros in its 2012 results.
Sept. 19 - Milan prosecutors investigate Saipem for alleged
market manipulation and insider trading over the 2.3 percent
stake placement, investigative sources say.
Dec 6 - Consob closes review begun in July on 2012 results
but keeps open monitoring of 2013 results.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Sophie Walker)