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Odebrecht to Pay $59 Million, Panama Official Says

Agreement is part of Panamanian government’s probe into alleged bribery payments by the company

SAO PAULO—Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht SA agreed to pay at least $59 million as part of the Panamanian government’s probe into alleged bribery payments by the company, Panama’s attorney general said.

“I received verbally a formal commitment to deliver in a short time $59 million and/or guarantees of payment,” Attorney General Kenia Porcell said on Thursday. “I must clarify that this does not affect the results of the investigations carried out by the prosecutors.”

An Odebrecht spokesman declined to confirm or deny any agreement with Panamanian authorities. The company said it is collaborating with Brazilian and foreign officials to advance their investigations.

Ms. Porcell didn’t specify if the payment is a fine or some other form of restitution or punishment, nor did she provide details on Odebrecht’s exact offenses, other than to say the company paid bribes to people and companies.

Representatives of the Panamanian Attorney General’s office weren’t immediately available to clarify Ms. Porcell’s statement.

The deal comes as multiple countries are investigating Odebrecht after the builder admitted in December to paying nearly $800 million in bribes, including $439 million in countries outside Brazil, mostly in Latin America. Odebrecht agreed in December to pay between $2.6 billion and $4.5 billion in a settlement with authorities in Brazil, the U.S. and Switzerland. According to U.S. Department of Justice, Odebrecht paid bribes worth $59 million in Panama to gain contracts there in the 2011-2014 period.

Write to Rogerio Jelmayer at rogerio.jelmayer@wsj.com

Categories: Uncategorized

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