Braskem SA has opened an internal investigation into bribery allegations made last year by the former chief executive of Mexico’s state-run oil company, according to a securities disclosure.
The Brazilian petrochemical company said in a filing Friday that it hired an unnamed U.S. law firm to review the claims by Emilio Lozoya, the former CEO of Petróleos Mexicanos, also known as Pemex.
Testimony that Mr. Lozoya gave to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, including allegations involving Braskem’s parent company, was leaked to the press last year, adding fuel to what has become the widest-reaching corruption probe in Mexico’s modern history.
Braskem and its parent, construction giant Odebrecht SA, paid a combined $3.5 billion to settle expansive bribery charges with U.S., Brazilian and Swiss authorities in 2016. A Braskem spokesperson declined to comment further on the disclosure. Odebrecht didn’t respond to a request for comment.
In its filing, Braskem said the allegations of illicit payments centered on an ethylene project with Pemex. Mr. Lozoya has said he accepted bribes from Odebrecht, according to a complaint filed with Mexican prosecutors that was previously reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Braskem and a joint-venture subsidiary in Mexico opened an investigation into allegations in compliance with its global compliance and governance guidelines, the petrochemical company said.
Pemex earlier this month said it had reached an agreement with the subsidiary, Braskem Idesa, to change the terms under which Pemex supplies ethane to a petrochemicals plant in southern Mexico. Renegotiation of the 2010 contract occurred after a decline in Pemex’s production left the company unable to supply the amounts of the gas—used to make plastics—originally specified under the agreement.
Braskem’s former chief executive, José Carlos Grubisich, faces criminal charges in the U.S. related to the company’s 2016 settlement. A lawyer for Mr. Grubisich last month said the executive was in discussions with prosecutors to settle the charges.