July 11, 2017 / 6:38 PM / a year ago

Mexico's Pemex axes $100 million contract with Odebrecht

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex said in a filing on Tuesday it canceled a 1.8-billion peso ($100-million) contract with Odebrecht SA, a Brazilian engineering company that has admitted paying bribes in a dozen countries in recent years.

The corporate logo of Odebrecht is seen inside of one of its offices in Mexico City, Mexico May 4, 2017. Picture taken on May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Pemex said it notified Odebrecht in mid-June that it was canceling the 2015 engineering, procurement and construction contract at the Miguel Hidalgo refinery in Tula, Hidalgo state, following an investigation into “administrative irregularities.”

The logo of Mexico's state-owned company Pemex is pictured at a refinery in Cadereyta, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico, April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

Odebrecht has admitted in a settlement with U.S. and Brazilian prosecutors to paying bribes across 12 countries to win contracts. According to the U.S. court ruling, between 2001 and 2016, Odebrecht paid about $788 million in bribes in countries including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.

In Mexico, Odebrecht paid $10.5 million to obtain public works contracts between 2010 and 2014, which generated more than $39 million in profits, according to the U.S. ruling.

Since settling in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland for a record $3.5 billion, Odebrecht has sought to negotiate leniency deals that would allow it to keep operating in other countries across Latin America.

($1 = 17.93 Mexican pesos)

Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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