Brazil’s BRF signs $111 million leniency deal after graft accusations

A logo of Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA is seen in the headquarters in Curitiba

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian food processor BRF SA on Wednesday signed a leniency agreement with local authorities over payments it must make to the South American country’s government following accusations of graft.

The deal with Brazil’s attorney general (AGU) and comptroller general (CGU) offices requires BRF to pay around 584 million reais ($111 million) to the government, the CGU said, citing accusations that company employees paid public officials to gain “undue advantages” following federal police investigations.

BRF began negotiating with the CGU and AGU over the agreement in 2018, collaborating with investigations in order to soften the blow of sanctions.

BRF said in a filing the payments will be made in five annual installments, starting next June 30. It said it had committed to collaborate with authorities with its “best efforts” and continue improving its governance and compliance practices.

In a separate statement, BRF said it “understands that signing this leniency agreement puts an end to discussions regarding the past issue,” adding that it does not condone illegal activity or improper conduct.

Shares in BRF closed on Wednesday up nearly 8% at 7.76 reais, while the broader Bovespa Index rose 1.53%.

($1 = 5.2676 reais)

(Reporting by Roberto Samora; Editing by Leslie Adler)