Brazil's Petrobras to pay nearly $3bn to settle US class action over corruption

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Petrobras said it was a victim of the "car wash" scandal (Source: Getty)

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, has said it will pay nearly $3bn (£2.2bn) to settle a US class action brought by investors who said a corruption scandal hit the value of their investments.​

Shareholders sued Petrobas, which did not admit any wrongdoing under the deal, after former executives were accused of accepting more than $2bn in bribes over a decade.

The company has said it was a victim itself of the Lava Jato, or “car wash” operation, which eventually led to the impeachment and downfall of the President Dilma Rousseff.

A US judge must still approve the settlement.

"The agreement, which is subject to approval by the court, is intended to resolve all pending and prospective claims by purchasers of Petrobras securities in the United States and by purchasers of Petrobras securities that are listed for trading in the United States," the company said today.

"It eliminates the risk of an adverse judgment which, as Petrobras has previously reported, could have a material adverse effect on the company and its financial situation, and puts an end to the uncertainties, burdens and costs of protracted litigation."

The firm said it would pay $2.95bn in two instalments of $983m and a last instalment of $984m.

The company said it had already recovered 1.475bn Brazilian reais, or about £336m, in restitution.

Petrobras said it would “continue to pursue all available legal remedies from culpable companies and individuals".

The deal came just days after Brazil’s securities regulator formally accused eight former Petrobras executives of corruption, including form Petrobras chief executives Maria das Gracas Foster and Jose Sergio Gabrielli.

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Tags: Petrobras