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 had settled the Bahraini firm's racketeering and fraud suit against Alcoa in return for $85 million in cash plus long-term raw material supply contracts.

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

Alba had accused Alcoa of conspiring with a businessman to orchestrate 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 in Pennsylvania - Alcoa is based in Pittsburgh - in 2008 and sought damages in excess of $1 billion and punitive damages.

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

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

(( 4 453 6467)(Reuters Messaging: