February 13, 2020 / 12:36 PM / 5 days ago

UPDATE 1-Techint owners ordered to stand trial in Brazil graft case

(Recasts, adds detail)

MILAN, Feb 13 (Reuters) - San Faustin, the holding company that controls Italian steel pipe giant Tenaris, said an Italian court had ordered it and its owners to stand trial in a Brazil corruption case.

“We have learnt that a judge at the Milan court has sent Roberto Bonatti, Gianfelice Rocca, Paolo Rocca and the San Faustin company to trial,” San Faustin said in a statement, confirming what sources had earlier told Reuters.

Tenaris, a leading supplier of pipes for the world’s energy industry, is controlled by the Techint group which in turn is owned by Italy’s Rocca family through their financial holding San Faustin.

The Milan case revolves around alleged bribes paid to an executive at Brazilian energy group Petrobras to win contracts worth around 1.4 billion euros ($1.52 billion).

Prosecutors say a manager at Techint allegedly paid a total of around 6.6 million euros to the Petrobras executive over the period 2009 to 2014.

San Faustin, which had consolidated revenues of $90 billion in the period 2009-2012, said it was confident the court would show both the group and its board members had acted with “absolute propriety”.

Petrobras did not immediately reply to an email request for comment outside of normal business hours.

The first hearing in the trial is set for May 14 in Milan.

$1 = 0.9211 euros Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Alfredo Faieta, writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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