Petrobras said on Wednesday it would pay $2.95bn to settle a class action suit brought by investors who lost money as a result of a corruption scandal.
The Brazilian state-owned company, Petroleo Brasilerio, also called Petrobras, signed an agreement in principle in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to resolve all investor claims in one of the largest securities class action settlements.
The company is clearly hoping to draw a line and to protect its shareholders and interests.
It said in its legal filing with the SEC, “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.”
As part of the proposed settlement the company denies any wrongdoing and said it was a victim of “the acts uncovered by Operation Car Wash, as recognised by Brazilian authorities including the Brazilian Supreme Court.”
Petrobras has already recovered R$1.475bn in restitution in Brazil and said it was pursuing “all available legal remedies from culpable companies and individuals.”
Operation Car Wash
Operation Car Wash is an investigation in Brazil that brought down two former Presidents, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his successor, Dilma Rousseff.
A number of Petrobras top executives were accused of colluding with other companies for over a decade to overcharge the company for construction and service work in exchange for bribes.
The New York Times reports that Petrobras believe the scheme generated bribes of nearly $3bn.
Petrobras said the settlement will be paid in three roughly equal installments and will affect fourth quarter results. The agreeement is to be submitted to the district court for review.