15 December 2014, News Wires – Petrobras said on Friday it delayed release of unaudited third-quarter financial results after new developments in an expanding bribery and money laundering case.
The company, which had scheduled the release of the unaudited accounts for late Friday, released instead a limited amount of financial data that it does not believe will be affected by adjustments related to the corruption investigation, it said in a statement.
Last month, Petrobras delayed the release of third-quarter earnings, following accusations that the company systematically overpaid for assets and work by contractors and after its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, declined to certify the accounts.
On Friday, Petrobras said it decided to delay its results for a second time in a month “as a result of new facts that have occurred since 13 November 2014, related directly or indirectly to Operation Car Wash.”
Operation Car Wash began in April with the arrest of a top Petrobras official who outlined an alleged scheme where the company systematically overpaid for assets and work by contractors and the excess was kicked back to executives and politicians as bribes and campaign contributions.
Petrobras said it has until 31 January 2015 to release unaudited third-quarter results without breaking covenants in its debt agreements.
Breaking the covenants could spark a technical default or force early payment.
While neither confirming nor denying that such conduct took place, executives said on 17 November that Petrobras would reassess the value of some assets based on whether bribes were part of the purchase price and could take accounting losses accordingly.