Pemex Hires Hogan Lovells to Audit Contracts With Odebrecht

By Adam Williams and Isabella Cota, Bloomberg News

Petroleos Mexicanos has hired the same legal representation used by Brazilian utility Eletrobras to audit its contracts with Odebrecht SA and affiliate Braskem SA amid an ongoing investigation into those two companies by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Hogan Lovells US LLP, which for the past two years has been leading an internal audit of state-owned Eletrobras related to the Carwash graft probe in Brazil, was hired to conduct an internal investigation of Pemex’s contracts with Odebrecht and Braskem, the Mexican oil company said in an emailed statement.

Pemex’s legal director, Jorge Kim, said last week Pemex hired legal representation to carry out an internal investigation and “clear up the facts,” without naming the firm.

In December, Odebrecht and Braskem both pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay bribes in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Justice Department said Odebrecht paid about $10.5 million to Mexico public servants between 2010 and 2014 to win contracts, and that payments of as much as $6 million were made to a senior officer of a Mexico state-owned company.

The DOJ hasn’t confirmed that Pemex is the Mexico state- owned company mentioned in the investigation, according to a Pemex representative who can’t be named due to company policy.

On April 5, Pemex disclosed four contracts signed with Odebrecht and Braskem between 2010 and 2015, and reiterated its commitment to cooperate in an investigation by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. The office has called for several current and former Pemex officials to appear as witnesses in the investigation, without disclosing names.

Eletrobras hired Hogan Lovells to look into possible breaches of the FCPA in their relationships with companies linked to the Carwash investigation in 2015. Hogan Lovells didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

–With assistance from Juan Pablo Spinetto.

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