published on 01/24/2023 03:55
(credit: Marcelo Ferreira/CB/DA Press)
Americanas asked for an additional 48 hours to submit to the Court a complete list of the company’s more than 16,300 creditors and the “particular breakdown of liabilities” of each of them. The company’s lawyers argue, in a petition sent to Rio de Janeiro’s 4th Commercial Court, that the 48-hour period given on Friday to make the list public did not end yesterday, but will last until tomorrow, Wednesday.
In charge of the case, Judge Paulo Assed Estefan would not specify when the deadlines began to count, according to the retailer’s legal team, which has generated differences of interpretation between the lawyers. The protocol provides that a company, at the time of requesting judicial recovery, already attaches the complete list of creditors to the process. But since Americanas requested a preliminary injunction for judicial recovery, it has attached only what would be the “first part” of the list, without indicating all the employees and suppliers who have debts to be collected from the company, nor the amounts owed to each .
The Reorganization and Bankruptcy Law (No. 11.101, of 2005), stipulates that deadlines in this type of process must be given in calendar days, which is also included in the decision of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) in the same sense. But, in the request sent to the judge, Americana’s lawyers argue that the count in working days is based on paragraph 1 of article 224 of the code of civil procedure, which reads: “the days of beginning and expiry of the term will be postponed to the first working day following, if they coincide with a day in which the forensic office ends before or starts after ordinary hours or there is unavailability of electronic communication”. Friday was a holiday in the city of Rio de Janeiro, without forensic activities .
While the legal team works to extend the deadline for the delivery of the list, the main shareholders of Lojas Americanas deny having been aware of the company’s problems, which surprised the market by revealing a deficit of R$ 20 billion on the balance sheet. In a letter released to the company last weekend, billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, of 3G Capital, said they have always based their work on ethics and the principles of good governance.
“We have never been aware of and would never admit accounting maneuvers or dissimulation in the company. Over the decades, our performance has always been guided by ethical and legal rigor. This has been decisive for the position we have reached in a life dedicated to ‘entrepreneurship, generating jobs, building businesses and contributing to the development of the country”, reads the letter.
The business owners also pointed out in the filing that Americanas had an audit by the Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) group. According to them, this company is “one of the largest and most reputable in the industry.” “You (PwC), in turn, made regular use of circulars, used to confirm Americanas’ accounting information with outside sources, including banks that did business with the company. Neither these financial institutions nor PwC have ever reported any improprieties “, say the billionaires.
In addition to Americanas, 3G Capital Group is the largest shareholder in companies such as beverage company Ambev and fast food chain Burger King. In the letter, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira inform that an “independent committee” will investigate the facts and ask for explanations on the accounting gap. This analysis group “will also evaluate the possible breaking of symmetry in the dialogue between auditors and financial institutions”. At the end of the note, the entrepreneurs “deeply” regret the losses suffered by investors and creditors of Americanas and reinforce their “commitment to work for the recovery of the company as soon as possible”.
Bank stocks are down
Main index of the São Paulo Stock Exchange (B3), the Ibovespa yesterday fell by 0.27%, to 111,737 points. Once again, banking stocks were the negative highlight of the session, penalized by exposure to the billion-dollar defect in Americans. Though the index sustained gains throughout the day, shaken by rising oil prices, statements by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) on the role of the BNDES reinforced market fears about the government’s economic policy and led to the Brazilian title The second-low swap followed
After a meeting with Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández, Lula told the country’s businessmen that the development bank would once again finance engineering projects to help neighboring countries and Brazilian companies operating abroad. The policy has been adopted by PT governments and is frowned upon by the majority of the market. In the wake of the statements, Ibovespa hit a low of 111,541 points, down 0.45%. In the morning it reached a maximum of 113,061 points (0.91%).
“Lula’s speeches suggest direct state intervention in companies, and this leaves the market in turmoil, as investors are reminded of the old Petrobras movie, of pension funds,” said Frente Corretora’s chief economist, Fabrizio Velloni .
Mainly responsible for the decline in Ibovespa, the financial sector fell 2.04%, under pressure from banks’ exposure to the Americanas’ billion-dollar deficit. The criticisms made last week by the president of the formal autonomy of the central bank are also worrying. Shares in Bradesco PN (-4.23%) and Santander (-4.08%) accounted for the largest and third largest declines in the index, respectively.
Conversely, rising commodity prices continued to benefit stocks related to the external environment. Oil futures ended on mixed signals in a volatile session as markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan closed due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Even so, Brent’s 0.64% rise for March buoyed gains at Petrobras (2.31% ON, 1.59% PN), which helped limit Ibovespa’s losses.
*Intern under the supervision of Odail Figueiredo
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