CVM questions nine retailers about accounting that caused crisis in Americanas


The CVM (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários) decided to question companies in the retail sector about the accounting of debts to pay suppliers, known as “drawn risk”, a problem that led Americanas to file for judicial recovery.

THE Sheet found that nine companies in the sector are being consulted. The objective is to find out if there are risks that other balance sheets are contaminated like that of Americanas, which did not account for all the costs of these debts.

In a note, the CVM says that, “whenever necessary, it carries out interactions with capital market participants in order to request important information for analysis and supervision work”. “In this sense”, he continues, “he sent a consultation to publicly-held companies on the subject”.

In “withdrawal risk” operations, which are not exclusive to the retail sector, companies borrow money from banks to pay for goods they buy from suppliers.

Americanas did not identify these loans as a financial expense, but in the suppliers account, a different class of the balance sheet that does not change the indebtedness. It also did not include the interest on these operations in its accounting, which improved its results.

Critics of the company assess that the strategy allowed the payment of dividends to shareholders and bonuses to executives above the amounts released by its competitors in recent years.

The problem became public on January 11, when the company’s then-president, Sergio Rial, announced the discovery of “accounting inconsistencies” in the company’s balance sheet, which generated a deficit of R$ 20 billion.

The announcement started a legal battle with banks that are creditors of Americanas and culminated with the request for judicial recovery submitted to Justice last Thursday (19) to try to equate a debt of R$ 43 billion.

The company’s accounting is the target of one of the seven processes opened by the CVM to investigate responsibility for the crisis, which dropped the value of the company’s shares and harmed investors of all sizes.

In it, the autarchy asks Americanas’ management for details on the accounting inconsistencies and their real impacts on the company’s finances. He also questions why the administrators said that the impacts on cash are “immaterial”.

The agency also determines that the company identifies the procedures adopted to correct the problem. The process lists balance sheets released by the company since the beginning of the last decade, but focuses on requests for information on results since 2017.

CVM investigations also included the company’s reference shareholders, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, in an investigation into possible omission of information in the first communication about the crisis.

This Sunday (22), the three stated in a joint note that they were never aware of and would never admit any accounting maneuvers or dissimulations in the company.

“Like all other shareholders, creditors, customers and employees of the company, we firmly believed that everything was absolutely right,” said the three shareholders, who together own 30.1% of the company’s shares.

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