June 13, 2019 / 7:11 PM / a month ago

Brazil's Odebrecht expects to take part in Petrobras auctions in 2019

FILE PHOTO: 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

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA’s construction unit expects to speed up talks with Petroleo Brasileiro SA to resume providing services to the state-run oil company and participate in its public auctions in the second half of 2019, an Odebrecht executive said on Thursday.

Olga Pontes, Odebrecht’s compliance director, says Odebrecht Engenharia e Construcao (OEC) should be able to resume its relationship with Petrobras because of steps taken by the conglomerate to improve governance and compliance in the wake of a 2016 leniency deal tied to a corruption scandal.

Odebrecht along with other firms was ensnared in a major global corruption investigation into billions of dollars in bribes that were paid to win contracts with Petrobras in the last two decades.

Pontes said Odebrecht and Petrobras representatives will meet in the next few days, when the conglomerate’s compliance and governance reforms will be presented to the oil company.

Brazil’s largest banks are negotiating a potential out-of-court debt restructuring with Odebrecht, Banco Bradesco SA said on Tuesday.

With a total debt of approximately 70 billion reais ($18.23 billion), Odebrecht has been trying to avoid the same fate of its sugar and ethanol unit, Atvos Agroindustrial Participacoes SA, which filed for bankruptcy at the end of May.

“We are not cleared yet to provide engineering work (to Petrobras). We are in quarantine and at the stage of demonstrating that all recommendations given to us are being implemented,” Pontes said.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Paul Simao

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