On January 3, 2018, Petrobras announced that in connection with the losses investors suffered from the “Lava Jato” bribery scandal, it had agreed to a USD 2.95 Billion settlement with investors who purchased American Depository Shares (ADS) and bonds in the US. The US settlement is a commendable and positive development, but it only provides recoveries for claims by purchasers in the United States and by purchasers of Petrobras securities that are listed for trading in the United States. The US issued and traded securities represent a limited portion of Petrobras global securities and related investor losses. The majority of investor losses occurred from trading in the Petrobras securities including Preferred and Common shares traded on the Brazilian exchange in São Paulo, European-regulated exchanges and bonds issued by Petrobras Global Finance, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, not in Brazil. The underlying fraud and events are the exact same and Petrobras should treat its investors equally. Petrobras should therefore compensate its investors regardless of which exchange, or in which country, they purchased Petrobras shares or bonds.
In January 2017, Stichting Petrobras Compensation Foundation (SPCF), backed by a coalition of international investors and law firms, started legal action against Petrobras and filed a Writ of Summons in District Court in Rotterdam, seeking declaratory relief for global investors who purchased Petrobras securities in non-US markets or on non-US exchanges. The litigation in the Netherlands covers the principal Petrobras equity securities that traded on the BOVESPA exchange in São Paulo and via linked markets such as Latibex on Bolsa De Madrid. The litigation in the Netherlands also covers the claims of bondholders whose losses are not included in the US litigation.
SPCF has appointed International Securities Associations & Foundations Management Company for Damaged Petrobras Investors (Bovespa) Ltd. (ISAF) to coordinate with investors. ISAF has organized the funding of all litigation costs so that investors can participate with no upfront cost.
Institutional investors currently supporting the Dutch litigation via the ISAF organized coalition include investors in the US, UK, Brazil, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries, Korea, Japan and others with individual losses ranging in the millions, tens of millions and in some instances in excess of USD 100 million.