Odebrecht to give $50 million to charities in deal over 'prohibited practices'

FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of the Odebrecht SA construction conglomerate is pictured at its headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 29, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht [ODBES.UL] has agreed with the Inter-American Development Bank to give $50 million to charity in recognition of “prohibited practices” carried out by subsidiaries involved in projects financed by the multilateral organization, the company said on Wednesday.

Odebrecht acknowledged in a 2016 leniency deal that it had bribed officials in a dozen Latin American countries to secure public works contracts. It filed for bankruptcy protection in June.

The two projects are located in Venezuela and Sao Paulo, Brazil, the company told Reuters in response to questions. The money will be turned over directly to charities, it added.

“A contribution of $50 million has been agreed, to be paid from 2024 for NGO and social projects which will help improve the quality of life in vulnerable communities in developing countries that are members of the IADB,” Odebrecht said in a statement, using the bank’s acronym.

The company’s massive graft scandal included projects in Colombia, where the company had been awarded a contract for the construction of a 528-kilometer (328-mile) highway in 2010, with an investment of more than $1 billion. Four years later it signed a contract for an additional parallel road.

The agreement includes Odebrecht, Odebrecht Ingenieria y Construccion S.A. and CNO S.A., Odebrecht said.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Nick Zieminski