The law firms Galdino & Coelho Pimenta Takemi Ayoub and Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide, which defend the BTG Pactual bank, sent on Saturday (14) to the Court of Justice of the State of Rio de Janeiro a petition to overturn the injunction granted last Friday fair (13) to Americanas. The document, to which Sheet had access, brings expressions of indignation against the retailer.
BTG was prevented from collecting a debt “in excess of R$ 1.2 billion” (the Sheet found that the total amount is R$ 1.9 billion), after the company barred 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 company’s former president, Sergio Rial.
“The seed of self-destruction: accounting pyrotechnics” is the title of the interlocutory appeal written by the lawyers, with a request for attribution of suspensive effect to the injunction.
Americanas declined to speak with the reporter about the terms of the petition. In a statement, his adviser stated that. “At this moment, the company continues to believe in the protection of the precautionary measure and in the creditors’ commitment to return with a proposal. Americanas will soon appoint its negotiation team with the creditors”.
In BTG’s petition, to which the Sheet had access, are targeted, in addition to the company, entrepreneurs Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, founders of the private equity company 3G Capital, current reference shareholders of Americanas —until 2021, they were the retailer’s controllers.
“The three richest men in Brazil (with assets valued at BRL 180 billion), anointed as a kind of demigods of ‘good’ world capitalism, are caught with their hands in the cash register of what, since 1982, has been one of the main companies of the trio”, says the document.
“Two days later, they have the nerve to come to court to ask for a precautionary measure, preparatory to a judicial recovery, to prevent creditors from legitimately protecting their assets in light of the biggest corporate fraud that has been reported in the history of the country. the fraudster asking the bars of Justice for protection ‘against’ his own fraud”, says the text of the petition.
The lawyers mention the book “Dream big: How Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Beto Sicupira revolutionized Brazilian capitalism and conquered the world” (Editora Sextante), released in 2013 by journalist Cristiane Correa, mentioning two excerpts in particular, with quotes from businessmen: “We have to do pyrotechnics. From time to time we’ll have to act crazy so these guys know it’s for real” and “The money started to go into our pockets, the dream of building ceased to exist […] the seed of destruction was planted.”
According to the petition, this is “the fraudster fulfilling his own prophecy, truly ‘acting crazy so these guys know it’s for real.’ after killing his father and mother, he asks the jury for clemency for being an orphan.”
THE Sheet asked Americanas and 3G Capital for a positioning of the trio of reference shareholders. The retailer said he had no forecast on a response from businessmen. 3G did not comment on the criticism of its founders, because they are the ones, and not the private equity firm, who are linked to Americanas.
According to the lawyers of the offices Galdino Coelho and Ferro Castro Neves in the petition, Americanas asked the Justice not only to suspend the freezing of early salaries, but also that the salaries that had already been declared and compensations that had already been made were undone.
The petition states that the injunction obtained on Friday (13) by Americanas “hands over 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 greater than R$ 40 billion; that is, the bank’s R$ 1.2 billion will turn to dust overnight in the hands of those who brag about ‘paying like crazy'”.
The lawyers also claim that the injunction, signed by Judge Paulo Assed Estefan, of the 4th Corporate Court of the Judicial District of Rio de Janeiro, establishes a time frame for the anticipation of the guardianship on the date of January 11, 2023, “ironically the day on which the company publicly confessed the fraud to the market.”
Either controllers make a contribution or the company will go bankrupt, says BTG
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 purpose of the judicial recovery institute, granting legal protection, including in advance, to someone who became insolvent sponte propria [por vontade própria] for having defrauded the credit market and the stock market.”
The petition states that, “if the insolvency results from fraud, as is the case, or the controlling shareholder contributes the necessary resources to cover the breach of fraud or it is a case of bankruptcy; there is no third hypothesis”.
The injunction, says BTG’s defense, “immediately absolves the controlling shareholders —literally, the three richest men in Brazil, with joint assets valued at more than R$180 billion (!!)—, freeing them from paying the bill of its own pyrotechnics and placing the entire burden of its accounting mess on the shoulders of creditors.”
The report contacted the Galdino & Coelho Pimenta Takemi Ayoub office to comment on the petition, but did not receive 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 necessary legal support so that both Americanas and the creditors can reach a possible agreement. Americanas reiterates the importance of maintaining the injunction, despite the attempt to suspend it, which could generate asymmetry among its creditors, including banks, and would not help the process.”
“Americanas works to, given its social weight throughout Brazil generating more than 100 thousand direct and indirect jobs, find a solution with its creditors and, thus, the maintenance of the production source, the employment of workers and the interests of creditors, promoting the preservation of the company, its social function and the stimulation of economic activity. At this moment, the company continues to believe in the protection of the precautionary measure and in the creditors’ commitment to return with a proposal. Americanas will shortly appoint its team of negotiations with creditors.”
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