Petrobras reports $2.1 billion write-down after anticorruption probe

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) reported a $2.1-billion write-down from improper payments identified in the Brazilian Federal Police’s “Operation Car Wash” anticorruption investigation.

The scandal, allegedly involving bribery from local construction and engineering firms in exchange for contracts, brought forth the February resignations of Chief Executive Maria das Gracas Foster and five other senior executives (OGJ Online, Feb. 4, 2015). Alde Mir Bendine was subsequently elected to lead the company (OGJ Online, Feb. 9, 2015).

Overall Petrobras lost $7.2 billion in 2014, with an asset impairment charge of $14.8 billion. The company in March reported plans to divest $13.7 billion in 2015-16 (OGJ Online, Mar. 3, 2015).

“The sum related to the identified improper payments was calculated using a methodology based on statements made public within the scope of [Operation Car Wash],” the company said in an Apr. 22 statement. “A margin of 3% was applied to contracts with the 27 companies cited as members of the cartel between 2004 and 2012.”

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