Bourbon Offshore said a judicial investigation has been launched into its business dealings in Africa.
The matter relates to tax and bribery charges by authorities in Marseilles, France.
It comes after the company’s former manager was arrested at the Marseilles-Provence airport when he was returning from Africa in possession of approximately €190,000 in cash in 2010.
Bourbon said the investigation relates to allegations of bribery of public officials in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria in connection with the tax audits of “local entities in 2011 and 2012.”
A spokesman for the company said: “Bourbon and its Executive Management contest very strongly the charges brought against them, and it is noted that they are entitled to the presumption of innocence and will reserve their explanations for the judicial authorities.
“The group operates in complex environments. Its activities are carried out in strict compliance with the laws of each country and Bourbon attaches great importance to compliance with anti-bribery regulations.
“Moreover, these events have encouraged the group to strengthen its policies, procedures and training programs in relation to ethics and compliance and in particular those regarding the fight against bribery.”
The company said the formers tax manager was immediately dismissed and has since been placed under formal investigation.
After the former tax manager was placed under formal investigation some members of the executive management were also placed under formal investigation in April and November 2013.
Earlier this week, Bourbon also announced three of its workers had been kidnapped in waters off the coast of Nigeria.
The incident happened on the Surfer 1440 after pirates boarded the vessel on April 8.