March 6, 2018 / 11:47 PM / a year ago

Brazil's Vigor denies it caused Itambé losses -statement

SAO PAULO, March 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian dairy company Vigor Alimentos SA, owned by Mexico´s Grupo Lala SAB de CV, denied on Tuesday accusations by Itambé Alimentos SA that it caused the company losses of 124 million reais ($38.6 million) when it took over an export contract.

Itambé, which is suing its former shareholder Vigor for 400 million reais, is seeking arbitration at the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce, which often oversees Brazilian arbitration cases.

"The goal of this arbitration is to interfere with untrue legal arguments in the court case challenging Itambé's sale to Groupe Lactalis, which was illegal," Vigor said in a statement.

Vigor said the transfer of the export contract from Itambé to Vigor was approved by all company board members, including the three Vigor representatives and the three members appointed by the dairy cooperative CCPR.

Itambé said it would not comment on the arbitration due to confidentiality commitments required by the Chamber of Commerce.

Vigor owned a 50 percent stake in Itambé until December 2017, when CCPR, which owned the other 50 percent, exercised its right to acquire Vigor's interest and subsequently sold Itambé to France's Groupe Lactalis SA.

Vigor has challenged the acquisition in the courts and in another arbitration. A court decision recognized the deal but prevented the French group from getting management rights in Itambé. ($1 = 3.2094 reais) (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer Editing by Susan Thomas)

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