Brazil's Engevix Takes Step Towards Petrobras Leniency Deal


SAO PAULO, April 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian engineering firm Engevix Engenharia SA said on Friday it had made progress towards signing a leniency deal with the country's comptroller general as companies scramble to limit the economic fallout of a massive bribery investigation.

A spokeswoman for Engevix said a memorandum of understanding had been signed on Tuesday, adding that she had no further information as the negotiations are not public.

Engevix follows Dutch oil platform leasing firm SBM Offshore NV in agreeing to collaborate with the comptroller, known as the CGU, and other companies are expected to follow.

The CGU is investigating 29 of Brazil's top builders for suspected price fixing of contracts with state-run oil firm Petrobras in a multibillion-dollar scheme that funneled bribes to executives and politicians.

The case threatens to exclude the companies from new contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the firm is formally known, and lead to fines and other penalties.

Engevix's CEO has said the company is selling assets to pay 1.5 billion reais ($462 million) in debt as it combats a sharp drop in revenue in the wake of the scandal.

Prosecutors investigating the country's largest kickback scheme ever are trying to block the deals, however, on the grounds they would obstruct their case against executives, money launderers and politicians.

SBM's shares rose nearly 9 percent on March 18, the day after it announced the start of a deal with the CGU.

The CGU did not immediately respond to request for comment on Friday, a holiday in Brazil.

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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