Brazil judge throws out challenge to Braskem-Quattor deal

15 January 2010 22:27  [Source: ICIS news]

SAO PAULO (ICIS news)--Another roadblock to Brazilian petrochemical major Braskem’s potential acquisition of Quattor was removed when a judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the potential deal, a Rio de Janeiro court said on Friday.

According to the court press department, the lawsuit by Alberto Soares de Sampaio Geyer, a member of the family that controls Unipar, which in turn holds a 60% stake in Quattor, was withdrawn because the judge indicated he saw no risks to Brazilian society if such a deal went through.

Alberto said earlier he would appeal the action.

This was the second lawsuit aimed at halting the acquisition of Quattor by Braskem.

The first lawsuit was filed in October by Joanita Soares de Sampaio Geyer, a former partner at Vila Velha Administracao (a holding company with over 50% of the voting shares at Unipar).

Joanita Geyer asked for her lawsuit to be withdrawn following a deal to sell her shares at Vila Velha.

Unipar holds a 60% stake in Quattor. Petrobras controls the other 40%. However, according to details regarding the negotiations, Unipar is expected to receive a cash sum and not have a stake in the new company.

The first lawsuit had been filed by Joanita Soares de Sampaio Geyer, a former partner at Vila Velha Administracao (a holding company with over 50% of the voting shares at Unipar).

Joanita Geyer asked for the lawsuit that she filed in October to be withdrawn before the case was scheduled to be heard, following a deal to sell her shares at Vila Velha.

According to Alberto Geyer's lawsuit, the objective of his filing was to gain more time for him to attempt to acquire 100% of Vila Velha and thus block the acquisition of Quattor.

The lawsuit said Alberto Geyer was working on a plan to offer the other Geyer family members a Brazilian reais (R) 240m ($137m) deal and acquire 100% of Vila Velha company shares, enabling him to halt the Braskem-Quattor acquisition.

The other Geyers, however, have not accepted Alberto Geyer’s offer, which should have been analyzed by all family members by 4 January.

Alberto Geyer holds a 24% stake in the controller of petrochemicals company Unipar, and said earlier that he intends to offer a new bid totaling some R 280m ($158.2m).

Meanwhile, negotiations have progressed, according to federal oil company Petrobras. With the move, Braskem would become the world's 11th biggest petrochemicals firm.

Together, Braskem and Quattor would have annual revenues of around R 30.4bn/year and production capacity of 15.6m tonnes/year of chemical intermediates and petrochemicals. It would employ 6,600 persons.

The merged company would be called Nova Braskem, according to press reports. Petrobras would probably hold around 49% of voting capital.

Nova Braskem would control Brazil's polyethylene and polypropylene production, making it the country’s only plastic resins supplier.

($1 = R1.76)

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By: Hellen Berger
+1 713 525 2653



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