(Adds details of case, context)
By Brad Haynes
SAO PAULO Oct 3 Brazil's Braskem SA,
Latin America's largest petrochemical producer, said on Monday
it had entered talks with the U.S. Department of Justice and the
Securities and Exchange Commission regarding an internal graft
probe started in 2015.
Braskem said in a securities filing that it aimed to reach a
formal accord that may result in "material financial
obligations" and other possible sanctions. The company said it
would also start a parallel process with Brazilian authorities.
The negotiations bring Braskem closer to a reckoning in the
vast corruption scandal engulfing its two main shareholders,
state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and
engineering conglomerate Odebrecht SA.
Braskem shares rose 3 percent in early Sao Paulo trading,
the biggest gain on the benchmark Bovespa stock index,
as the company neared closure on the corruption probe.
Brazilian prosecutors have accused Odebrecht of paying
bribes for contracts including a deal for Petrobras to supply
naphtha to Braskem at favorable rates that eventually caused 6
billion reais ($1.9 billion) of losses.
Braskem's former chief executive, Carlos Fadigas, last year
dismissed allegations of an unfair supply contract and in
December signed a new five-year naphtha deal with Petrobras.
Shareholders in a class action suit in New York accused
Fadigas and other executives of making "materially false and
misleading statements regarding the company's business,
operational and compliance policies."
Fadigas stepped aside as CEO in May, handing the reins to
Fernando Musa, who had run the company's business in the United
States and Europe since 2012.
Braskem said in an August earnings filing that it would
enter talks with U.S. officials to clarify accusations that had
come up in investigations of third parties.
In Monday's filing, Braskem did not comment on alleged
wrongdoing and said it could not predict the duration or result
of the ongoing talks.
($1 = 3.24 reais)
(Reporting by Brad Haynes; Additional reporting by Paula Laier;
Editing by Daniel Flynn and Paul Simao)