SBM Offshore set to settle bribery case in Brazil?

SBM Offshore, world’s largest provider of FPSO vessels to the international oil and gas industry, is set to reach a settlement with the Brazilian authorities, linked to the company’s alleged involvement in a bribery case.

According to the Brazilian newspaper O’Globo, SBM Offshore, accused of paying bribes in exchange for contracts, has agreed to pay one billion Brazilian reais ($255 million).

The newspaper further writes that the company would pay 65% of the amount in cash while the remaining 35% would be paid through services to Petrobras.

Responding to the media reports, SBM Offshore on Tuesday issued a statement saying it is in constructive discussions with the authorities.

“Today the company confirms that these discussions are ongoing and no conclusion has been reached,” SBM Offshore said.

SBM Offshore also said that pending the finalization of the talks the company will not further comment on the matter.

To remind, the company in November 2014 reached a $240 million out-of-court settlement with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (Openbaar Ministerie) over the inquiry into alleged improper payments.

Ban lifted

SBM Offshore, based in The Netherlands, had been banned from bidding for Petrobras projects due to an alleged bribery investigation, but Petrobras last week said it would resume inviting SBM Offshore to submit bids.

However, the contracts under the bidding procedure will only be awarded to SBM, subject to compliance with the Anti-Corruption Law (Law 12846/2013) and completion of the Leniency Agreement with the CGU and MPF, Petrobras said last Monday.