When two weeks ago various US agencies, among which the IRS, FDIC and Commerce Department, unexpectedly raided the company’s Peoria HQ to allegedly probe the company’s tax-evasive ways, CAT said not to worry and that it was all under control, or something like that.
Apparently it wasn’t, because as the company announced moments ago, it has lawyered up, retaining former US Attorgney General William Barr (who served in 1991-1993 under George H.W. Bush) who has been tasked with “reviewing matters relating to the search warrants executed at Caterpillar facilities on March 2, 2017, and assisting the company in appropriately addressing those matters.”
In other words, yes – there is fire.
Full statement below:
William P. Barr brings extensive government, legal, and public company experience
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) today announced it has retained former U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr as outside counsel. Jim Umpleby, who became Chief Executive Officer of Caterpillar on January 1, 2017, has tasked Mr. Barr, currently of counsel to the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, with reviewing matters relating to the search warrants executed at Caterpillar facilities on March 2, 2017, and assisting the company in appropriately addressing those matters.
“Bill Barr is one of the most distinguished lawyers in the country, with an impeccable track record, well known for his integrity and direct, honest advice,” said Umpleby. “I have asked Bill – who has no prior connection with Caterpillar – to draw on his experience and that of his colleagues at Kirkland & Ellis and other advisers, to take a fresh look at Caterpillar’s disputes with the government, get all the facts, and then help us bring these matters to proper resolution based on the merits.”
Mr. Barr served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States (1991-93) under President George H.W. Bush, and before that as Deputy Attorney General (1990-91) and as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel (1989-90) at the United States Department of Justice. After his public service, Mr. Barr served for over 14 years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Verizon Communications, Inc. and its predecessor company, GTE Corp.
“I am committed to maintaining Caterpillar’s long tradition of pursuing the highest ethical standards in conducting our business and, as we focus on restoring growth at Caterpillar, I am confident that Bill’s assistance will help our leadership team achieve these goals,” Umpleby concluded.