BRASILIA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade on Wednesday unanimously voted to block the purchase of meatpacker Mataboi Alimentos SA by JBJ Agropecuária Ltda, a further blow to the billionaire Batista family.
JBJ is owned by José Batista Jr., whose brothers control the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS SA, through holding company J&F Investimentos SA.
Batista Jr.’s family ties would allow JBJ to exchange valuable information with JBS and coordinate strategic decisions to stifle competition, the board of Cade argued.
This analysis aligns with Cade’s general-superintendency, which in September warned of coordination risks despite the lack of formal ties between both JBS and Mataboi, Brazil’s No. 4 meatpacker.
Batista Jr. sold his shares in J&F to his brothers Joesley and Wesley in 2013. Two years later, JBJ agreed to purchase the entirety of Fratelli Dorazio Investimentos SA, as the owner of Mataboi was then known, for an undisclosed value.
The decision is another setback to the Batista family’s efforts to emerge stronger from a corruption scandal, five months after Joesley and Wesley admitted to bribing nearly 2,000 politicians.
JBS withdrew this week the plan for the initial public offering of its U.S. unit, initially expected for this year. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Andrea Ricci)