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French Group Closes Deal with Odebrecht to Manage the Maracanã Stadium

04/06/2017 - 15h30

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SÉRGIO RANGEL
FROM RIO

On Wednesday, April 5, French group Lagardère signed the agreement to manage the Maracanã stadium. The company is responsible for more than 50 arenas around the world.

On Friday, April 7, Aymeric Magne, Lagardère's CEO in Brazil, will give the document to the Rio de Janeiro government and Odebrecht executives.

Altogether, Lagardère will invest over R$ 500 million (US$ 154 million) throughout the duration of the concession, which was won by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in 2013 and ends in 2048. Folha verified that Lagardère is analyzing if it will be necessary to spend some R$ 15 million (US$ 4,7 million) in emergency repairs in the stadium.

After the memorandum of understanding, which sets all the details in the agreement, is signed on Friday, April 7, the two parties will have 20 days to follow through on the agreement including the financial means. The forecast is that Lagardère will begin operations before the end of the month.

Odebrecht says the agreement to be made on Friday is an "engagement." The construction company says the "wedding" will occur after the 20-day period, when executives of the two companies will close the deal.

In 2013, Odebrecht along with AEG and IMX, of businessman Eike Batista, won the bidding process to administrate the stadium for 35 years.

The consortium offered R$ 5.5 million (US$ 1,7 million) per year as grant to exploit the stadium. However, the company never paid the amount.

The group claims that operating the stadium became impossible as it did not receive authorization to demolish the arena's water park and athletics track.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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