JBS SA withdraws IPO plan

by Erica Shaffer
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Corruption scandal involving the Batista brothers overshadowed the deal.
 
SÃO PAULO, Brazil – JBS SA, the world’s largest meat packer, has withdrawn its request for an initial public offering for a planned subsidiary, JBS Foods International.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated Oct. 13, the company requested consent to withdraw the company’s registration statement filed on Dec. 5, 2016 because “…the company has decided not to pursue the sale of securities pursuant to the registration statement at this time.”

The withdrawal is a blow to JBS SA’s plans to restructure the company and improve access to a broader base of investors. Under the reorganization, JBS SA would have contributed all its assets except its Brazilian beef business to a new holding company. The holding company would have been a wholly-owned subsidiary of JBS International. JBS SA then would have become a consolidated subsidiary of JBS Foods International trading separately on the Brazilian stock exchange.

In August, executives with JBS SA said plans for the IPO would proceed in 2018 despite the legal scandals dogging the company’s controllers, brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista.

In May, the Batistas resigned from the board of JBS SA after it was revealed that seven executives agreed to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors regarding bribes allegedly paid to nearly 2,000 government officials, including the current president of Brazil, Michel Temer.

Most recently, federal prosecutors in Brazil formally charged the brothers with insider trading and market manipulation, accusing the Batistas of minimizing financial losses by buying and selling millions of JBS shares before giving evidence as part of the plea deal related to the bribery and corruption charges.

The Batista brothers currently are being held by federal police in pre-trial detention in São Paulo.

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