Brazil's BNDES asks JBS's shareholders to support legal action against controlling shareholders, execs

SAO PAULO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian development bank BNDES is asking other JBS SA shareholders to support taking legal action against the meatpackers’ executives and controlling shareholders for losses they allegedly caused to the company, according to a securities filing by JBS on Wednesday.

BNDES, which holds a 21.32% stake in the meatpacker, required JBS on Sept 21 to call a shareholder meeting to discuss the matter, according to documents filed by JBS.

BNDES said in the letter sent to JBS that it intends to discuss in the meeting plea bargain and leniency deals signed by the company’s controlling shareholder J&F Investimentos SA in 2017, in which its founders Joesley and Wesley Batista confessed to running a political bribery ring in Brazil.

The development bank said that the plea bargain deal unveiled wrongdoings that caused losses to JBS. On Sep 6. 2017, JBS said in a securities filing that it was part of the leniency deal signed by J&F.

Now, BNDES said it plans to discuss with JBS’s shareholders a potential legal action to urge the meatpacker’s executives and controlling shareholders to take responsibility for the losses.

J&F and the Batista brothers did not immediately comment on the matter.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl Editing by Chizu Nomiyama