Brazil bars Skanska unit from public tenders in Petrobras probe

Brazil has banned the local unit of Swedish construction company Skanska AB from doing government work for at least two years, having accused it of involvement in a bribery and kickback scandal, the Ministry of Transparency said on Thursday.

The ministry said Skanska Brasil Ltda belonged to a cartel that fixed prices on contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro SA . It also said the company paid 3 million reais ($890,000) in bribes to obtain a 1.3-billion-real ($386 million) contract for the expansion of an oil terminal for the state-run company.

Skanska Brasil has denied being part of the cartel of 20 engineering and construction companies under investigation in the massive corruption scheme that has landed executives in jail and put dozens of politicians under investigation for allegedly receiving bribes and kickbacks.

Skanska said it had pulled out of Brazil, indicating the ban will not impact its business.

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