RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian state-owned oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA said on Wednesday it would pay one of the highest settlements in history to end a class action lawsuit brought by US investors seeking to recover the corruption-related losses.
Petrobras, as the company is known, said it agreed to pay $ 2.95 billion to resolve claims from investors who bought its US-listed stocks or bonds between January 2010 and July 2015. For most of that time This period, Brazilian courts have since found that Petrobras was spending tens of billions of dollars a year on contracts inflated by one of the biggest corruption schemes ever uncovered.
If approved, the settlement would likely rank fifth among securities class actions, according to Stanford Law School and Cornerstone Research, which jointly track such cases. As the largest payment ever made by a foreign company, it could also have far-reaching implications for foreign companies that go to U.S. stock or bond markets for funding, experts say.
“We are very pleased with this landmark settlement,” plaintiffs attorney Jeremy Lieberman said in a statement, noting that precedent-setting rulings during the three-year lawsuit could help investors build class actions for decades to come. “Simply put, this litigation and its final resolution produced a great result for the class. “
According to the complainants’ estimates, the program now known as Car Wash helped wipe out some $ 271 billion, or nearly 90%, of Petrobras’ market value between 2009 and 2015.