The Case PETROBRAS – International Protection of Shareholders

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Petroleo Brasileiro SA is one of the leading oil companies in the world and one of the most important industries of Brazil. Petrobras is a Brazilian company controlled by the state – which owns 55% of the voting rights – and is involved in extraction, refining and sale of oil. The shares of Petrobras were listed not only in the Brazilian stock exchange in Sao Paulo (Bovespa), but also in New York Stock Exchange.

Since December 2014, dozens of shareholders who purchased shares of Petrobras through the New York Stock Exchange, have driven the Federal Court of New York seeking compensation for losses caused by the devaluation of their actions.

Clearly, this is not a simple devaluation, but a phenomenon caused by the system of corruption came to light as part of an investigation carried out by judicial authorities of Brazil, during which emerged unlawful transactions, with a value of about 80 billion dollars.

After admitting the actions of victims, the Court of New York quoted Petrobras to form themselves in the process and has already been also fixed the date of the first hearing in August this year, to seek the amicable settlement between the parties.

Legal analysis, it appears that Petrobras has not complied with the best practices of business management, allowing, of this kind, behavior proved detrimental to its shareholders, with the conclusion of contracts for the acquisition of refineries and oil platforms not in line with the known rules of transparency and fairness, required of companies listed on stock exchanges.

Therefore, each shareholder who feels aggrieved by the devaluation of their shares acquired on the New York Stock Exchange, given its financial loss, is entitlement to a claim for damages to Petrobras, in the Federal Court of New York, and then will ask the ‘execution of the judgments on the Brazilian territory, where the judicial authorities are already considering action to preserve heritage also managers responsible for them, if necessary, respond together to the company for damages suffered by shareholders.

Our Legal Team, internationally, has already been charged with analyzing several positions in the foregoing story.