Brazil's JBS dials down IPO talk

Brazil's JBS dials down IPO talk

Brazil Equity

JBS has dialed down talk of an IPO of its international operations, after bribery allegations led to weak Q1 earnings.

The Brazilian food company was slated to spin off its US operations in the first half of the year, but CEO Wesley Batista said in an earnings call that JBS would look for a window in the second half of 2017 to do an IPO.

In March, JBS and more than a dozen Brazilian beef and poultry producers were accused of paying bribes for food inspectors to approve the sale and export of tainted meat.

Batista said the scandal, called "weak flesh," affected JBS’ production and exports, contributing to delays in the IPO plans.

The company’s shares tumbled to BRL10.80 in late March, before bottoming out at BRL9.50 in early April. JBS’ stock climbed to BRL11.45 earlier this month but dipped to BRL9.72 after the Q1 earnings came out.

JBS in December last year said it wanted to list its Netherlands-based division JBS Foods International and local food processing unit Seara Alimentos on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).