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Marfrig CEO, Wife’s Holding Company Boosts Stake to 45%

Marfrig Alimentos SA Chief Executive Officer Marcos Antonio Molina dos Santos boosted his stake in Latin America’s second-largest beef producer to 45 percent after the stock lost almost half its value.

MMS Participacoes SA, the holding company controlled by Molina and his wife, Marcia Marcal dos Santos, hold 156.2 million shares of Marfrig, according to a statement today. That compares with 43.5 percent, or 150.9 million shares, held on Aug. 16, according to information on the company’s website.

The share purchases were motivated by his “confidence in the company’s solid fundamentals and its significant potential to create value,” Molina, who is also Marfrig’s chairman, said in the statement. Based on yesterday’s closing price, MMS Participacoes paid about 39 million reais ($22 million) to buy the shares.

Marfrig, based in Sao Paulo, said Oct. 13 it is merging administrative services to cut costs and regain investor confidence. The company fell 40 percent in three days in early August after Sao Paulo-based GWI Asset Management cut its stake. GWI, which once held 5.22 percent of Marfrig, closed some funds after Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index dropped 20 percent from its November peak.

Marfrig directors also bought shares of the company in the past month. The company’s directors currently own 69,500 shares, or less than 1 percent, from 58,600 shares on Aug. 16, according to information posted on its website.

Marfrig rose 2.7 percent to close at 7.61 reais in Sao Paulo. The stock has slumped 51 percent this year, compared with a 21 percent decline in the Bovespa index.

JBS SA is Latin America’s largest beef producer.

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