The head office of SNC Lavalin are seen Thursday, February 19, 2015 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Standard & Poor’s downgrades SNC-Lavalin, citing charges and diplomatic feud

Agency also highlighted the prospect of a ban of up to 10 years on contracts with the Canadian government

Debt rating agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., citing problems at a Chilean mining project, damaged business relations with Saudi Arabia and criminal charges against the beleaguered engineering giant.

The agency says a pair of slashed profit forecasts from SNC-Lavalin in the past three weeks — which first halved the per-share earnings target and then cut it again by more than 40 per cent — will make for a higher debt ratio.

The downgrade to BBB- from BBB notes the Montreal-based company has halted all bidding on future mining projects following a dispute with Chile’s state-owned copper mining company Codelco, now entering arbitration.

Standard & Poor’s says SNC-Lavalin’s growth prospects for oil and gas have “deteriorated” as the diplomatic feud continues between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Ethics watchdog probes alleged PMO interference in SNC-Lavalin case

READ MORE: Opposition parties push for emergency meeting on SNC-Lavalin case

The agency also highlighted the prospect of a ban of up to 10 years on contracts with the federal government in Canada.

The ban is one possible outcome that could flow from a conviction on fraud and corruption charges stemming from alleged dealings with the Libyan regime under Moammar Gadhafi between 2001 and 2011.

The downgrade came after the federal ethics commissioner launched an investigation into allegations the Prime Minister’s Office put pressure on former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help the company avoid a criminal prosecution. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied directing Wilson-Raybould on the matter.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Input sought from Cache Creek businesses on Downtown Vision plan

Attracting and retaining employees and businesses are priorities

Community Futures gets more funding to continue business support program

Programs such as Business Ambassadors help small businesses, not-for-profits, and First Nations

Make Children First’s CareFairs are going out with a bang

Folllowing changes to funding, upcoming CareFairs in the region will be the last ones ever held

Support available for those looking after loved ones with dementia

Despite the growing number of people with dementia, a stigma still surrounds it

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Most Read