Brazil’s JBS should call shareholder meeting by Friday: source

The logo of Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA is seen in the unit in the city of Jundiai

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker, has until Friday to schedule a shareholder meeting to discuss the possible ousting of the controlling shareholders, the Batista family, from its board, a person close to the discussions said on Thursday.

If the meeting is not called by then, minority stakeholder BNDES Participações SA has the right to do so, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and requested anonymity.

Brothers Wesley and Joesley Batista in May made a plea deal with prosecutors in which they admitted bribing almost 2,000 politicians, including allegedly President Michel Temer.

Other minority stakeholders including state-controlled lender Caixa Econômica Federal [CEF.UL], which owns around 4 percent of JBS, support BNDES’ plan to oust the Batistas, the source said.

Representatives for JBS were not immediately available for comment.

The Batistas, who control holding company J&F Investimentos SA, have agreed to pay 10.3 billion reais ($3.1 billion) in fines in leniency deal.

Joesley Batista, who secretly taped Temer, was the only family member to leave the company.

State-development bank BNDES, which indirectly holds a 21 percent stake in JBS through its BNDESPar investment arm, filed a request last week that shareholders of JBS convene to change its board and management.

Reuters reported on Monday that BNDESPar wanted to remove the controlling Batista family from the meatpacker’s management and board. JBS Chief Executive Wesley Batista and his father José Batista Sobrinho are board members.

JBS has also been ensnared in a scandal involving alleged bribing of food safety inspectors that prompted several countries to suspend imports of Brazilian meat for days.

($1 = 3.3061 reais)

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Richard Chang)