UPDATE 1-Bilfinger sees Brazil bribes of less than 1 mln eur

jueves 26 de marzo de 2015 09:14 GYT
 

* Improper payments may have totalled up to 1 million euros

* Company says cooperating with Brazilian authorities

* DoJ compliance monitor working within the company (Adds details on time frame, background)

FRANKFURT, March 26 (Reuters) - Struggling German engineering and services firm Bilfinger may have paid up to 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in bribes to win contracts in Brazil, it said on Thursday.

Bilfinger had said on Sunday it was investigating whether employees of a subsidiary had paid bribes to public officials in Brazil in connection with orders related to the 2014 soccer World Cup.

It said in a statement on Thursday: "After looking at all accounting transactions from past years, current information indicates that potentially improper payments exist of less than 1 million euros in total."

A spokesman said the scope of the investigation stretched back for up to eight years.

Bilfinger issued a series of profit warnings last year that resulted in the resignation of its top executives and chairman, and currently has a compliance monitor appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice working inside the company in connection with the settlement of an old bribery case in Nigeria.

The company said on Thursday it was cooperating closely with Brazilian authorities and would provide the CGU, the government agency charged with corruption control, with the results of its investigations as well as supporting further probes.

Bilfinger has commissioned auditors Ernst & Young and Deloitte and a specialised law office in Brazil to help in its investigation, it added.

($1 = 0.9116 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)