Bahrain's Alba settles bribery suit with Alcoa

By Amena Bakr

DUBAI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Aluminum Bahrain (Alba)and U.S. aluminum maker Alcoa said on Tuesday they hadsettled the Bahraini firm's racketeering and fraud suit againstAlcoa in return for $85 million in cash plus long-term rawmaterial supply contracts.

Alba put the value of the contracts at $362 million. Alcoadeclined to give a value.

Alba had accused Alcoa of conspiring with a businessman toorchestrate bribes in Bahrain and to overcharge it for alumina,the crucial material used to make aluminum.

The Bahraini firm filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court inPennsylvania - Alcoa is based in Pittsburgh - in 2008 and soughtdamages in excess of $1 billion and punitive damages.

"We are very happy with this settlement, this is great newsfor Alba and Bahrain," Alba Chairman Mahmood Hashim al-Kooheji,who is also chief executive of Bahrain's sovereign wealth fundMumtalakat, said in an interview from Manama.

(Additional reporting by Steve James in New York; Writing byAmran Abocar; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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