Dutch engineering company SBM Offshore announced today that it has accepted an out-of-court settlement with Brazilian authorities to resolve allegations relating to the Petrobras bribery scandal, while emphasizing that the settlement does not involve an admission of guilt.
The settlement resolves allegations made in December by Brazil's Public Prosecutor's Office regarding "personal favoritism" claims against SBM Offshore's CEO Bruno Chabas and a member of the company's supervisory board, Sietze Hepkema.
On Jan. 15, a Brazilian judge referred the accusations concerning Chabas and Hepkema back to the Public Prosecutor to propose an out-of-court settlement on a no-admission-of-guilt basis. SBM said that Chabas, Hepkema, and the management and supervisory board of the firm have considered the proposal and decided to accept it. Under the terms of the settlement Chabas and Hepkema will have to pay approximately $60,000 each.
The company emphasized that the settlement "does not involve an admission of guilt and remains of the opinion that the accusations are without merit." SBM Offshore said it also believes that "accepting the settlement offers a pragmatic opportunity to expeditiously resolve this matter that avoids long and costly legal proceedings and allows the company's management team to concentrate on the business."
The settlement is subject to confirmation by the judge handling the case. The timing of the confirmation has yet to be established.