Justice authorizes loan of up to R$ 2 billion for Americanas


The Justice of Rio de Janeiro accepted a loan proposal to Americanas by the company’s reference shareholders, the trio of billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, to guarantee working capital for the retailer.

The amount authorized by Judge Paulo Assed Estefan, holder of the 4th Business Court of Rio de Janeiro, is up to R$ 2 billion, according to a note released by the state Court of Justice.

Of this amount, R$ 1 billion comes from the reference shareholders through the issuance of non-convertible debentures into equity, says the company, in a note.

The maturity of the loan is 24 months.

“The financial contribution will be used to cover essential expenses for the execution of its activities, measures to boost its businesses and new businesses”, says the text.

When announcing the proposal, which spoke of a minimum financing of BRL 1 billion, the company said that the resources will allow “to maintain investments in working capital and finance non-tendering obligations, including payment to suppliers and partners”.

According to the court, the company’s judicial administrators, Preserva-Ação Administração Judicial and Zveiter Advocacy Office, were in favor of granting the request, “as a tool for bringing in new money to assist in the judicial recovery process”.

The company filed for bankruptcy last month to settle a debt of BRL 43 billion. The company has already been facing problems with the supply of products and had to go to court to prevent cuts in energy supply and evictions due to delays in rent.

Known as DIP (debt-in-possesion financing), the loan model that will be made by Americanas’ reference shareholders is used only in judicial reorganizations.

It is a type of loan that does not require a general meeting of creditors to be approved and can be requested at the beginning of the process. If the company goes bankrupt, its payment enters the list of priorities, behind court administration expenses and some labor claims.

Upon announcing the loan request, Americanas said that the DIP financing “may eventually be replaced by new financing, convertible into company shares, and which will ensure the preemptive rights of all shareholders.”

Since the BRL 20 billion accounting scandal surfaced on January 11, revealed by the former president of Americanas, Sergio Rial, the trio of billionaires has been criticized by the retailer’s creditor banks, which together hold most of the debt. from the company.

Financial institutions, especially the BTG Pactual bank, criticize the fact that the former controllers did not contribute enough capital to save the company from bankruptcy. The retailer is fighting in court with BTG, which managed to block BRL 1.2 billion from Americanas’ bank account.

In another decision, the judge of the Fourth Corporate Court of Rio de Janeiro appointed Moore Brasil to investigate whether there was accounting fraud at Americanas, which is already the subject of investigations by the CVM (Securities Commission).

He argues that, simultaneously with the investigations already initiated by the authorities, “one should scrutinize the facts/conduct described by the creditors and the degree of commitment of the described ‘accounting inconsistencies’ and their impact on the judicial recovery process”.

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