December 15, 2017 / 2:31 PM / 9 months ago

Chairman of Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht to step down: paper

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Emílio Odebrecht will resign as chairman of the board of the scandal-plagued Brazilian engineering conglomerate Odebrecht SA in the first half of next year, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported on Friday, citing an unnamed source.

FILE PHOTO: A sign of the Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht is seen at their headquarters in Lima, Peru, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo/File Picture

Media representatives of Odebrecht did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

Emilio Odebrecht is one of 77 executives of the engineering conglomerate to sign a plea deal. [nL1N1EG0WU]

The newspaper said the chairman’s decision to resign will be announced on Friday to high-ranking executives of the company, which has admitted to widespread political bribery in Latin America’s largest ever corruption investigation, at a meeting in the northeastern city of Salvador, where the group was founded. Estado reported Odebrecht may step down as early as April but the date is still up for negotiation.

The newspaper said the resignation is designed to show to the market how the company has broken with its corrupt past.

Odebrecht’s son Marcelo Odebrecht is to be released from prison in four days, O Estado reported. Marcelo Odebrecht, formerly chief executive of the group, was arrested in June 2015 in the so-called Car Wash investigation that exposed billions of dollars in kickbacks to politicians and executives at state-run companies in exchange for inflated contracts.

In April, a U.S. judge sentenced Odebrecht to pay $2.6 billion in fines as part of a plea deal with U.S., Brazilian and Swiss authorities. Odebrecht also has been in talks to sign plea deals in other Latin American countries. [nL1N1G20OY][nL1N1G70Q2] [nL1N1IB1O2] [nL1N1HR23X] [nL1N1ES0QD]

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bill Trott

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