Court finds irregularities in BNDES purchase of JBS stock

by Erica Shaffer
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The transaction enabled the meatpacker to buy US assets.
BRASILIA – The Court of Auditors (TCU) in Brazil identified irregularities and losses of public funds related to the purchase of JBS SA shares by the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES).

In a statement, the agency said damages exceed R$303.9 million in current values and  originated in operations that helped the group in the acquisition of the beef division of Smithfield Foods”

In June, the TCU cited Joesley Batista for losses of R$126 million due to irregularities in the purchase of Swift Foods, which was financed by the BNDES.

In both cases, the TCU cited former Finance Minister Guido Mantega and Luciano Coutinho, former BNDES president, as responsible for the losses.

Brothers Wesley and Joesley Batista were arrested and jailed pending trial on charges of insider trading and manipulation of the stock market. The Batista family controls more than 40 percent of JBS SA.

Correction: JBS did not acquire and does not own assets of National Beef Packing Company LLC. JBS SA attempted to acquire National Beef in 2008, but a federal lawsuit — including 13 states and the US Dept. of Justice — blocked the transaction.

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