Image courtesy of Ryan J. Reilly/Flickr.

SBM Offshore confirmed on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice has re-opened its bribery probe into the company.

SBM said in its full year results that the DOJ has re-opened its probe into the alleged bribery of government officials in Angola, Brazil and Equatorial Guinea dating back to between 2007 and 2011.

The Netherlands-based company reached a $240 million settlement with Dutch authorities in 2014 tied to those same allegations.

Dutch prosecutors alleged that SBM sales agents made improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to government officials in Angola, Brazil and Equatorial Guinea.

When the Netherlands settlement was announced SBM said the DOJ had dropped its inquiry after deciding to not prosecute the company.

The DOJ has made information requests in connection with the re-opened probe, but the agency has not commented on the matter yet.

SBM said it’s seeking further clarification about the scope of the probe.

“The company remains committed to close-out discussions on this legacy issue which the Company self-reported to the authorities in 2012 and for which it reached a settlement with the Dutch Public Prosecutor in 2014,” SBM said.

SBM added that it has set aside $245 million to cover a “possible settlement” tied to the Petrobras probe after holding talks with Brazilian authorities and state-owned Petrobras last year.

Brazilian prosecutors allege that several companies, including SBM Offshore, participated in a price fixing and bribery scheme tied to Petrobras contracts.

“While discussions are at an advanced stage, timing of a settlement announcement as well as the size of any potential final settlement amount remain to be confirmed,” SBM said.

An internal investigation published by SBM Offshore in 2014 found no evidence of wrongdoing in the company’s Brazilian operations.

That same investigation also found that there was “some evidence that payments may have been made directly or indirectly to government officials” in Angola and Equatorial Guinea.

News of the re-opened probe comes just three weeks after SBM Offshore CEO Bruno Chabas and supervisory board member Sietze Hepkema reached an out of court settlement with Brazilian authorities tied to the Petrobras probe, with no admission of guilt.

Chabas and Hepkema both accepted the offer and were fined about $60,000 each, or about 250.000 Brazilian Reals.

Netherlands-based SBM Offshore said it will pay both fines.

SBM said in its full year results that, as of January 25, the settlement still remains subject to court approval.


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