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Caixa Econômica and Petrobras Act Against Companies Controlled by J&F

06/09/2017 - 11h38

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RAQUEL LANDIM
RENATA AGOSTINI
FROM SÃO PAULO
NICOLA PAMPLONA
FROM RIO

Caixa Econômica Federal bank, the second largest government-owned financial institution in Latin America, and Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil giant, took measures that could lead to losses for J&F, a holding that control JBS, the world's biggest meatpacker, and other companies. Caixa Econômica and Petrobras claim they are concerned about the crimes disclosed by Joesley and Wesley Batista, the brothers who control J&F, in their plea bargain.

Caixa Econômica decided to request the payment of the R$ 50-million loan to Flora, a personal hygiene and cleaning products company that owns Minuano and Neutrox brands, to be moved up. The payment was due only 2018.

Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress
Wesley Batista and Joesley Batista
Wesley Batista and Joesley Batista

Executives close to the group told Folha that the company did not breach any clause of the contract that might lead to a change in the deadline. Folha contacted Caixa Econômica, but the bank did not want to comment.

Petrobras cancelled a contract to supply gas to the thermoelectric power plant of Âmbar, which also belongs to J&F, in Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso state.

Petrobras says it will fine the company R$ 70 million (US$ 21 million). The relationship between the two companies had been shaky since J&F went to Cade, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense, to force Petrobras to sell it gas at the same price it sells in Bolivia.

In his plea bargain, Joesley Batista said he offered bribes to President Michel Temer and former congressman Rodrigo Rocha Loures to influence Cade's decision.

Petrobras says the contract with Âmbar has an anticorruption clause. Âmbar informed that "it is not and never was targeted by investigations" and that "the facts reported in the plea bargain refer to the holding."

The company also says that the leniency agreement with Brazil's Federal Public Prosecutor's Office authorized the companies controlled by J&F to sign contracts with public companies.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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