Article: Petrobras Shareholders Burned by ‘Carwash’ Turn to Dutch Court

By Peter MIllard

  • Dutch class-action case brings together investors outside U.S.
  • Petrobras vows to continue fighting case during merit phase

Petroleo Brasileiro SA investors excluded from its $2.95 billion “carwash” corruption settlement in the U.S. are signing up for a class-action case in the Netherlands — where the Brazilian oil producer has failed to get the lawsuit thrown out on procedural grounds.

The Stichting Petrobras Compensation Foundation, the claimant in the suit, has grouped investors outside of the U.S. who lost money when Petrobras shares and bonds tanked in the wake of a sprawling kickback and corruption probe known as Operation Carwash, which started in 2014.

“We have many investors from Brazil, institutional and a lot of retail investors, and there will be more investors coming over to our side,” according to Adam Foulke, a senior vice president at ISAF Management, which cooperates with the foundation to identify eligible investors for litigation in the Netherlands.

While ISAF can’t identify who has signed up due to non-disclosure agreements, Foulke said more than 100 large investment groups have joined, and more can continue to until there is a judgment or a settlement.

“These are institutional investors that Bloomberg reports on every day,” said Foulke, who added that ISAF began offering online registration in June and has since seen a pickup.

Petrobras said in an emailed statement that it was a victim of actions by corrupt executives in the scheme, has cooperated with authorities, and will continue to defend itself in the Netherlands.

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