SBM Offshore CEO under bribery probe in Brazil

Two SBM Offshore’s executives, CEO Bruno Chabas, and a member of the Supervisory Board Sietze Hepkema have been linked to the corruption scandal with Petrobras in Brazil.

Chabas and Hepkema have appeared on a list of (former) Petrobras executives, former sales agents and (former) SBM Offshore executives who may be prosecuted in Brazil in relation to a corruption case. According to Brazilian media, the Brazilian authorities are investigating a scheme involving embezzlement and bribery in Petrobras contracts with SBM Offshore, which allegedly began in 1997 and lasted until 2012.

In response to allegations, SBM Offshore, world’s largest provider of FPSO units, said: “The Company will seek clarification on this news with the relevant authorities. The Company believes that allegations are without merit, based on what it heard so far. Bruno Chabas was appointed CEO effective January 1, 2012 and immediately initiated the self-reporting and investigations that led to a settlement with the Dutch Public Prosecutor over alleged improper payments in November 2014. Sietze Hepkema joined the Company in May 2012 to establish a robust compliance culture throughout the Company.”
SBM Offshore has been in talks with Brazilian authorities and Petrobras to reach a settlement after it had been accused of bribing Petrobras’ officials and to obtain contracts in Brazil. These discussions are ongoing.

According to earlier reports the settlement would mean that SBM Offshore would pay one billion Brazilian reals (roughly $250 million), and cooperate in corruption investigation.

SBM Offshore had been banned from bidding for Petrobras projects due to an alleged bribery investigation, but Petrobras in October said it would resume inviting SBM Offshore to submit bids.

However, the contracts under the bidding procedure will only be awarded to SBM, subject to compliance with the Anti-Corruption Law and completion of the Leniency Agreement with the Brazilian investigators.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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