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BNDES: 5B reais of total 8.1B reais of investment in JBS recovered

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social, or BNDES, said it already recovered 5 billion Brazilian reais of total 8.1 billion reais invested in troubled meatpacker JBS SA.

In a questions-and-answers section in its website, the state-owned development bank said that the returns consist of 1 billion reais in dividends and premiums paid by JBS, 2.2 billion reais from the sale of shares in the market and 1.8 billion reais from sale of shares to the national treasury.

The bank said it continues to own 21.3% of JBS shares through BNDES Participações S.A., the investment banking subsidiary of BNDES.

The bank also stood by the amounts it paid to acquire the JBS shares, as well as its buy-in on a capital increase launched by JBS to acquire rival company Swift. BNDES noted that independent evaluations backed the prices set in the purchases, while 93% of minority shareholders decided to participate in the capital increase and paid the same price as controlling stockholders.

"This confirms that that price was adequate for the market," BNDES said.

BNDES' response comes as the bank has been pulled into a large investigation into bribes paid by JBS. In May, JBS Chairman Joesley Batista, testified that the meatpacking company paid about US$220 million in bribes related to BNDES loans and pension funds, with some of the funds used as donations for political campaigns.

Former BNDES CEO Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, who recently resigned citing personal reasons, had formed an internal committee to investigate the allegations of favoritism to JBS. The new CEO, Paulo Rabello Castro, took office June 1.

As of May 31, US$1 was equivalent to 3.24 Brazilian reais.