JPMorgan to Study JBS $142 Million Bid for Independencia

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and other creditors of bankrupt Brazilian meatpacker Independencia SA suspended a meeting today as they assess a 268 million-real ($142 million) bid from JBS SA. (JBSS3)

The offer from the world’s largest beef producer represents an average discount of about 82 percent over Independencia’s nominal debt, said Francisco de Assis e Silva, an institutional relations director at JBS. A new meeting was slated for May 15.

Independencia filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 as demand for beef waned after it invested in capacity expansion and reported about 1.5 billion reais of debt. JBS offered to pay 133 million reais in cash to banks and cattle suppliers and 135 million reais in stock to holders of 2015 bonds in exchange for some assets or a controlling stake, Assis said.

“We are offering a solution for Independencia and we believe this is a fair proposal,” Assis told reporters today in Sao Paulo after the vote to suspend the creditors meeting. “I hope creditors will accept it.”

JBS first announced the overall value of the bid on April 23 and detailed it to creditors today. Paulo Campana Filho, a lawyer representing JPMorgan, called for the suspension of the meeting to assess the bid.

JPMorgan is Cajamar, Brazil-based Independencia’s largest creditor and held about 240 million reais of its debt when the meatpacker asked for bankruptcy protection, according to court records. Citigroup Inc. (C) is also among the creditors that currently own the company’s assets.

Independencia’s 2015 senior notes have a face value of $165 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Rejected Bids

Creditors have rejected two offers for Independencia since the beginning of last year.

In October they turned down an offer from investors Alfredo Kaefer & Cia. Ltda. and Unibrax Investimentos & Participacoes SA to pay 706.9 million reais for the assets with future cash generation. A group of investors had previously offered to convert Independencia debt into stock of a new company.

JBS expects its bid to be approved and the deal to be completed in one or two month, Eduardo Munhoz, a lawyer representing JBS, said in the meeting.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucia Kassai in Sao Paulo at lkassai@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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