J&F Negotiates to Buy Back Shares of Eldorado From Pension Funds

(Bloomberg) -- J&F Investimentos SA, the Brazilian holding company that controls JBS SA, is in talks to buy back shares of pulpmaker Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA that are owned by pension funds Funcef and Petros as part of an amendment to a court deal, according to a prosecutor’s document.

J&F will put 685 million shares of Eldorado, or 30 percent of company equity, in escrow while discussing the terms of the deal, which is expected to be concluded by March 31. Those shares are valued at about 2.5 billion reais ($792.1 million), the document shows.

J&F declined to comment. It owns about 81 percent of Eldorado, according to the company’s website.

Funcef and Petros, which are part of a broader criminal investigation on pension fraud, invested 550 million reais in Eldorado in 2009 and owned a stake valued at 3 billion reais as of December, J&F said at the time. Police say there’s evidence of alleged criminal groups among business leaders, pension-fund managers, companies that rate assets and private-equity fund managers, according to Sept. 5 statement.

Brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, the chairman and chief executive officer of JBS, were temporarily removed from their positions on Sept. 13 by a court decision and allowed to return hours later after reaching a deal with prosecutors.