Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has lost its bid to keep files regarding an internal probe of possible bribes paid to Mexican officials to aid real estate deals out of the hands of investors. The Delaware Supreme Court has upheld a 2013 ruling by a lower Delaware state court mandating that Wal-Mart provide the files to several investors.
In 2005, executives in Wal-Mart’s Mexican operation told senior management that at least $24 million in bribes had been paid to Mexican government officials in order to ease the process of building warehouses and stores. The payments were not disclosed in regulatory filings until 2011 and U.S. and Mexican officials are investigating whether the payments can be considered criminal.
Wal-Mart investors including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and the Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund are seeking access to the files. Wal-Mart had appealed the previous ruling to the state’s highest court.