ASB MAGAZINE: J&F Investimentos SA has agreed to sell a controlling stake in Havaianas parent company Alpargatas SA to the investment firms of Brazil’s most prominent banking families for 3.5 billion reais ($1.1 billion), according to securities filings. Under terms of the deal, Cambuhy Investimentos Ltda, Itaúsa Investimentos SA and the fund Brasil Warrant will split J&F’s 86 percent stake in Alpargatas, the filling said. Both had bid 3.3 billion reais for Alpargatas before talks appeared to have collapsed. Reuters first reported the Cambuhy-led bid on June 16.
The much-awaited sale is the first by J&F, the holding company overseeing the fortune of Brazil’s billionaire Batista family, since it was slammed with a record-setting leniency fine linked to a corruption probe. Proceeds from the sale will go to help repay J&F’s debt and speed up payments on the 10.3 billion-real fine, people told Reuters. The filings said the Cambuhy-led group will pay 14.25 reais for each Alpargatas common share and 11.40 reais for each preferred share.
São Paulo-based Alpargatas makes Havaianas one of the worlds leading manufacturers of flip flops and its shares had surged 56 percent this year on expectations of a sale. Alpargatas also manages awide array of Brazilian fashion brands including beachwear brand Osklen.
Itaúsa oversees the fortune of Brazil’s Villela and Setubal families, who control São Paulo-based Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Latin America’s largest bank by assets. Cambuhy is the family office of Brazil’s billionaire Moreira Salles family, also a major Itaú shareholder. Banco Bradesco BBI advised J&F on the deal, while JPMorgan Chase & Co worked for the consortium of buyers. According to people with knowledge of the situation, J&F’s owners Joesley and Wesley Batista will use proceeds from the transaction to repay a 2.7 billion-real acquisition financing loan they took with state-controlled lender Caixa Econômica Federal.
The loan is under investigation by Brazil’s audit court TCU for potential irregularities. The brothers signed a leniency deal in May after admitting to bribing almost 1,900 politicians to obtain cheap government loans for their businesses.
The Batistas had acquired Alpargatas in December 2015 from construction conglomerate Camargo Correa SA, which was ensnared in the same scandal – “Operation Car Wash”. In addition to the Caixa loan, the Batistas will also have to pay for financing they took to buy out minority shareholders.
Other J&F-controlled assets on the block are dairy producer Fábrica de Produtos Alimentícios Vigor SA, pulpmaker Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA and a pool of power transmission lines, people directly involved in the situation said. J&F expects to raise around 10 billion reais with asset sales and cut J&F debts by another 10 billion reais, Reuters reported last week.