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Aluminum manufacturers reach $85 million settlement

Bahrain-owned Alba sued Alcoa over claims Alcoa paid bribes to government officials

The ongoing battle between U.S.-based aluminum maker Alcoa and Bahrain-owned aluminum maker Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) is coming to an end with Alcoa agreeing to pay Alba $85 million.

The case dates back to 2008, when Alba filed suit against Alcoa, claiming Alcoa conspired to overcharge Alba for alumina, a substance used to make aluminum. Alba accused Alcoa of paying millions of dollars in bribes to Bahraini officials in return for inflated contracts, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In the suit, Alba sought $1 billion in damages and claimed that Alcoa received $400 million in illegal profits during the scheme.

In addition to the $85 million Alcoa will pay in accordance with the settlement, announced yesterday, Alcoa will resume its long-term agreement to sell Alba alumina. As part of the settlement agreement, Alcoa admits no liability.

“The settlement with Alba represents the best possible outcome and avoids the time and expense of complex litigation,” Alcoa said in a statement.

When combining the cash payment and the long-term contract, Alba claims the settlement is worth about $447 million.

“We are very happy with this settlement,” Mahmood Hashim al-Kooheji, Alba’s chairman, told Thomson Reuters. “This is great news for Alba and Bahrain.”

Alcoa did not comment on Alba’s total value of the settlement.

Read more about this agreement on the Huffington Post and Thomson Reuters.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about this case:

Racketeering case against Alcoa will move forward

Alcoa asks judge to toss civil racketeering suit

Alcoa may have violated FCPA

Alcoa corruption case reopened


Cathleen Flahardy

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