“The agreement is in the company’s best interest and that of its shareholders, given the risks of a verdict advised by a jury, particularities of U.S. procedure and securities laws, as well its assessment of the status of the class action and the nature of such litigation in the United States,” Petrobras said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
The company said that it would pay the settlement in three installments, but would recognize the total settlement as part of its fourth-quarter 2017 results. It said that the settlement did not constitute an admission of wrongdoing or misconduct and that it “expressly denies liability” in the agreement.
The deal would resolve all pending and prospective claims by purchasers of Petrobras securities in the United States and by purchasers of Petrobras securities that are listed for trading in the United States, the company said. The settlement still has to be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Under the chief executive Pedro Parente, a former chief executive of the commodities trading firm Bunge Brasil, Petrobras has tried to clean up its image in the aftermath of the scandal.
The country has been a rising petroleum power with oil output averaging about 2.6 million barrels a day late last year, comparable to key OPEC producers like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Before the scandal and the fall in oil prices that began in 2014, Petrobras had assumed a dominant position in Brazil’s energy development, limiting the role of international companies.
But the corruption scandal, coupled with lower oil prices that strained Brazil’s resources, have prompted a change in thinking.
Although prices have risen sharply in recent months, to about $67 a barrel for Brent crude, both Brazil and Petrobras are now more open to working with international oil companies. Petrobras has sold stakes in major Brazilian fields and is looking to shed international holdings.
Last year for instance, Total of France bought a stake in the Iara and Lapa fields and other assets for $2.2 billion. In December, Norway’s Statoil agreed to pay as much as $2.9 billion for a stake in another Petrobras field called Roncador. And Petrobras said in November that it was putting stakes in two producing fields off Nigeria on the sales block.