Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras, further to the releases to the market dated January 29, 2020 and May 27, 2021, informs that the District Court of Rotterdam (“Court”) issued today an interim decision on the merits in the collective action filed by the St. Petrobras Compensation Foundation (“Foundation”) against Petrobras and other defendants in the Netherlands..
In the collective action, the Foundation alleges that it represents the interests of investors not included in the Settlement Agreement entered into in the United States and seeks a declaration that the defendants acted unlawfully towards these investors, not only by allegedly conducting fraudulent activities between 2004 and 2014, but also by disclosing information that was manifestly inaccurate and/or misleading, which allegedly caused losses to such investors.
In the decision, the Court ordered the production of additional expert evidence on issues related to Brazilian, Argentinian and Luxembourg law.
In addition, the Court advanced its understanding on the following issues that will be adopted in its
final judgment on the merits, once the above-mentioned additional evidence is produced, namely:
- The Court rejected the claims brought by the Foundation against Petrobras International Braspetro B.V. (“PIBBV”), Prime Oil & Gas BV (“POG BV”) and former Petrobras’ CEOs Maria das Graças Silva Foster and José Sérgio Gabrielli de Azevedo;
- The Court found that only the claims brought under Spanish law were time-barred;
- The Court considered that German law is no longer relevant to the claims;
- The Court held that Petrobras and Petrobras Global Finance B. V. (“PGF BV”) had acted unlawfully in relation to their investors, although it does not consider itself sufficiently informed on relevant aspects of Brazilian, Argentine and Luxembourgish law to rule definitively on the merits of the action.
The additional technical evidence will consist of an opinion to be issued by an institution appointed by the Court on a date yet to be defined, on which the Parties will be able to comment before the rendering of its final judgment on the merits, which is subject to appeal.
The Court confirmed that the Foundation may not claim compensation in the context of the collective action, which is subject to the filing of subsequent proceedings by investors or by the Foundation itself for this purpose, at which time Petrobras may present all defenses already presented in the collective action and others it deems appropriate, including with regards to the existence and quantification of any damages, not yet proven.
Petrobras continues to deny all the Foundation’s arguments and reiterates that the Brazilian authorities, including the Supreme Court, recognize that Petrobras was a victim of the acts revealed by Operation Car Wash. As a result, the Company has already recovered around R$ 7.2 billion and will continue to pursue all appropriate measures against the companies and individuals who have caused it damage.