In a statement today (see here), BHP Billiton, announced:
"Following requests for information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a part of an investigation relating primarily to certain terminated minerals exploration projects, the Company has disclosed to relevant authorities evidence that it has uncovered regarding possible violations of applicable anti-corruption laws involving interactions with government officials. Accordingly, the Company is cooperating with the relevant authorities including conducting an internal investigation, which is continuing. It is not possible at this time to predict the scope or duration of the investigation or its likely outcome."
According to the Wall Street Journal:
"The company said it was first contacted about the projects by the SEC last August. It declined to identify the projects other than to say they were small and had ended for "commercial grounds" prior to the SEC's inquiry. It said it has hired Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP to assist with its internal investigation."
BHP Billiton, a resource extraction company based in Australia and the United Kingdom, has ADR shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.