SÃO PAULO, Brazil – JBS SA sought to counter negative publicity surrounding the recent indictment of the company’s chairman, Joesley Batista. Bonds issued by the world’s largest processor took a beating following reports of the charges against Batista. 

Joesley Batista, JBS SA
Joesley Batista, chairman of JBS SA

Batista was indicted for allegedly trying to circumvent Brazilian laws prohibiting loans from one financial entity to its owners. The allegations stem from Batista’s job as head of J&F Investimentos SA, JBS’s parent company. But those charges have nothing to do with JBS SA, the company said in a statement.

“In relation to news flow on the accusation presented by the Public Prosecutor (MPF) regarding crimes against the Brazilian Financial System involving Joesley Batista, chairman of the board of JBS and president of J&F Investimentos, the company explains that JBS is not related to this complaint,” the company said.

The company added that it is available to discuss and clarify any doubts or questions from shareholders, investors and analysts.

“… JBS reinforces the note put out by J&F which stated that the documentation regarding the present accusation is still to be made available,” the statement continued. “After analyzing the file, J&F will lodge its defense, its rationale and the necessary proof which will demonstrate that the financial transactions were carried out within market practices and strictly in accordance with the rules of the regulator (Brazilian Central Bank).”

JBS said emphatically that the case will be resolved without damage to the financial stability of the company because of the management structure within J&F which is “a totally independent structure and corporate governance and ethical conduct adopted by all of the executives of each company.” 

Wesley Batista, JBS SA
Wesley Batista, CEO, JBS SA

The company also defended CEO Wesley Batista who, according to JBS, had been slandered in a blog. JBS said Wesley Batista had been “associated in an irresponsible manner” with an investigation called “Operation Car Wash,” in which federal law enforcement is probing the alleged use of offshore companies and real estate transactions as a front for laundering money from bribes, graft and other criminal activity.

The company categorically denied Wesley Batista’s involvement in the alleged criminal activities under investigation in Operation Car Wash.

“… The blog distorted facts with the clear objective to mislead the public, jeopardizing the image and reputation of JBS and its president,” the company said. “The company will take all applicable legal measures to repair the damage caused as a result of this slander.”