Brazil Prosecutors Said to Seek Order Against Alstom

Sao Paulo state’s public prosecutor is preparing to ask a judge to halt Alstom SA’s operations in Brazil and cancel its registration in the country after the French turbine maker was accused of paying bribes, an official familiar with the case said.

Prosecutors have already received documents from French officials and are awaiting deposition transcripts, banking records and other documents from the Swiss government before moving forward with the request, according to the person who asked not to be identified because details of the case aren’t public.

Alstom is accused of paying bribes in 1998 to extend a 1983 contract with Eletropaulo Metropolitana SA, a utility that was previously controlled by the government, to provide equipment for subway power stations in the city of Sao Paulo. The extended contract was worth about $50 million and the company allegedly paid 15 percent of the value in bribes, a deposition made by a former Alstom employee to French officials shows, according to the person.

“Alstom vehemently repudiates any insinuation that there is a company policy of irregular payments to obtain contracts,” the company’s press office in Sao Paulo said in an e-mailed statement. “Alstom has never refused to provide any clarifications requested by authorities.”

Eletropaulo said that it no longer holds the transmission unit that signed the contract with Alstom after it was sold to AES Corp. in 1998. “There’s no connection to AES Eletropaulo,” it said in an e-mailed response to questions.

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