‘Fraudster goes berserk’: BTG’s critique of Americanas’ major shareholders

The law firms Galdino & Coelho Pimenta Takemi Ayoub and Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide, which defend the bank BTG Pactual, sent a petition to the Rio de Janeiro State Court of Justice on Saturday (14) to overturn the injunction granted last Friday Fair (13) at the Americans. The document, to which Sheet accessed, brings expressions of disdain towards the dealer.

BTG was prevented from collecting debt “in excess of R $ 1.2 billion” (the Sheet found that the total amount is R$ 1.9 billion), after the company blocked the collection of all its creditors through the injunction. The decision was obtained after the disclosure of an accounting scandal of R$ 20 billion in its balance sheet, an announcement made by the former president of the company, Sergio Rial.

“The seed of self-destruction: accounting pyrotechnics” is the title of the interlocutory appeal drawn up by the lawyers, with a request for attribution of the suspensive effect to the injunction.

Americanas declined to speak to the reporter about the terms of the petition. In a statement, his adviser said that. “At this time the company continues to believe in the protection of the injunction and in the commitment of creditors to repay with a proposal. Americanas will shortly appoint its creditor negotiation team.”

In the petition of BTG, to which the Sheet had access, in addition to the company, entrepreneurs Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, founders of the private equity firm 3G Capital, current reference shareholders of Americanas —until 2021, were the controllers of the retailer .

“The three richest men in Brazil (with assets valued at 180 billion reais), consecrated as a sort of demigod of ‘good’ world capitalism, are caught red-handed by what, since 1982, has been one of the main companies of the trio”, reads the document.

“Two days later, they have the cheek to appear in court to ask for an interim measure, preparatory to judicial recovery, to prevent creditors from legitimately protecting their assets in light of the largest corporate fraud that has been reported in the history of the country. the fraudster who asks the bars of justice for protection ‘against’ his own fraud”, reads the text of the petition.

The lawyers cite the book “Dream big: how Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira revolutionized Brazilian capitalism and conquered the world” (Editora Sextante), published in 2013 by journalist Cristiane Correa, citing two passages in particular, with quotes from businessmen: “We have to put on fireworks. We have to act crazy from time to time so these guys know it’s true” and “Money has started flowing into our pockets, the dream of building has ceased to exist […] the seed of destruction has been planted.”

According to the petition, this is “the crook who fulfills his own prophecy, truly ‘acts crazy so these kids know it’s true.’ After killing his father and mother, he asks the jury for a pardon for being an orphan.” .

THE Sheet asked Americanas and 3G Capital for a positioning of the triad of reference shareholders. The retailer said it did not expect a response from businessmen. 3G has not commented on the criticisms of its founders, because it is they, and not private equity, that are tied to Americanas.

According to the lawyers of the Galdino Coelho and Ferro Castro Neves firms in the petition, Americanas asked the Justice not only to suspend the freeze on advance salaries, but also that the salaries that had already been declared and the compensations that had already been made be cancelled.

The petition states that the injunction obtained on Friday (13) by Americanas “delivers R$ 1.2 billion of other people’s assets (in the case of the Bank) to a confessed fraudster, who admits in his petition (…) to have debts exceeding to R$40 billion; that is, R$1.2 billion of the bank will turn to dust overnight in the hands of those who boast of ‘paying like crazy'”.

The lawyers also argue that the injunction, signed by Judge Paulo Assed Estefan, of the 4th Corporate Court of the Judicial District of Rio de Janeiro, sets a time frame for anticipation of guardianship as of January 11, 2023, “ironically the day the company publicly confessed the fraud to the market”.

Either the controllers make a contribution or the company will fail, BTG says

According to the defense of BTG Pacual, Americanas adopts a “clumsy and dyslexic narrative”, which led to a “very serious decision” by the Justice, which “completely distorts the limits and purposes of the judicial recovery institution, granting legal protection, even in advance, to those who have become insolvent of their own accord [por vontade própria] for defrauding the credit market and the stock exchange”.

The petition states that, “whether the default arises from willful misconduct, as is the case, either the controlling shareholder brings in the resources necessary to cover the fraudulent breach or it is a bankruptcy case; there is no third party hypothesis”.

The injunction, says BTG’s defense, “immediately acquits the controlling shareholders —literally, the three richest men in Brazil, with common assets valued at over R$180 billion (!!)—, freeing them from footing the bill its own fireworks and placing the entire burden of its accounting mess on the shoulders of its creditors”.

The report reached out to the Galdino & Coelho Pimenta Takemi Ayoub office for comment on the petition, but has not received a response as of this writing.

Read the note from Americanas

wanted by Sheet, Americanas responded with a note, sent by its press office. Here is the full text:

“Americanas SA informs that the precautionary measure aims only at the legal support necessary for both Americanas and the creditors to reach a possible agreement. Americanas reiterates the importance of maintaining the injunction, despite the attempt to suspend it, which could generate asymmetry between its creditors, including banks, and would not help the process”.

“Americanas works to, given its social weight throughout Brazil generating more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, find a solution with its creditors and, therefore, the maintenance of the source of production, the employment of the workers and the interests of creditors, promoting the preservation of the company, its social function and the stimulation of economic activity. At this time, the company continues to believe in the protection of the interim measure and in the commitment of creditors to repay with a proposal. Americanas will appoint his team of negotiators with creditors will soon be present».

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