By Joel Schectman
WASHINGTON Rolls-Royce Plc (RR.L) agreed to pay authorities more than $800 million to resolve charges of bribing officials in six countries in schemes that lasted more than a decade, the U.S. Justice Department and U.K. Serious Fraud Office said in statements Tuesday. The company admitted to paying officials at state-run energy companies in Kazakhstan, Thailand, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Angola and Iraq more than $35 million in order to win contracts, the Justice Department said. Among the bribes, Rolls-Royce paid a Brazilian official $1.6 million through a middleman to win numerous oil equipment contracts from Petrobras (PETR4.SA), U.S. authorities said.
“The behaviour uncovered in the course of the investigations by the (U.K.) Serious Fraud Office and other authorities is completely unacceptable and we apologise unreservedly for it," Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Warren East said in a statement.The company said it had overhauled its systems, culture, training, governance and ethics strategies had all been overhauled, while cutting dramatically the number of intermediaries it uses.
The settlement included agreements with U.S., U.K. and Brazilian authorities who the company agreed to pay $170 million, 497 million British-pounds ($616 million) and $25.6 million respectively, the Justice Department said. The case is the third resolution related Petrobras in the United States following a nearly three-year investigation in Brazil dubbed "Operation Car Wash" into corruption at oil company, which has led to dozens of arrests and political upheaval in the country.
Petrobras did not return a request for comment. (Additional reporting by Sarah Young and Kristin Ridley in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)
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Updated Date: Jan 18, 2017 02:00 AM