March 19, 2018 / 10:37 PM / 4 months ago

BRF Chairman Diniz calls pressure for board shake-up 'normal'

SAO PAULO, March 19 (Reuters) - The chairman of embattled Brazilian food processor BRF SA said on Monday there was "nothing abnormal" about shareholders pressing for a new board, according to newspaper Valor Economico.

Speaking at an event hosted by Brazil's supermarket industry association in Rio de Janeiro, Abilio Diniz partially attributed the poor performance of shares in BRF - a company that posted disappointing 2017 results and has been affected by corruption accusations - to financial speculation.

"There is nothing abnormal, nothing exceptional (about shareholders pressing for a new board). This happens in all big companies that don't have a controlling shareholder," Diniz was quoted as saying in a story on the newspaper's website.

BRF shares have fallen almost 32 percent this year.

The company was ensnared in a major bribery scandal last year and arrests have continued into 2018. In addition, the company recently reported its worst results ever, posting a 1.2 billion real ($365 million) 2017 net loss.

Two pension funds that are BRF's largest shareholders presented earlier in March a list of 10 candidates for seats to the company's board that excluded Diniz. A shareholders meeting to vote on the board changes is expected for next month.

$1 = 3.29 reais Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Peter Cooney

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