Brazil agribusiness group seeks bankruptcy protection

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Privately owned Brazilian agribusiness group Itaquere has filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure 482 million reais ($127 million) of debt, according to a letter from management seen by Reuters.

In the letter dated March 21, the group, based in Brazil’s top grains state Mato Grosso, blames a prolonged economic crisis, along with adverse climate conditions and currency swings, for its financial woes. The letter was signed by the group but not by any particular executive.

Grupo Itaquere

Itaquere and MLuz, named in the letter as the group’s financial adviser, did not respond to requests for comment or to clarify who the letter was sent to.

Itaquere is a diversified agribusiness group cultivating soybeans, corn and cotton in an area totaling 53,531 hectares (132,278 acres), the letter said. It also has interests in grain silos, toll-road operations and small power plant construction.

Itaquere’s bankruptcy petition is under seal but a court ruling related to it was seen by Reuters. In that ruling, a judge in the town of Primavera do Leste, where the group is based, demanded additional financial and operational information before the court can process the request.

Brazilian companies typically get 60 days to present a reorganization plan once granted protection by a bankruptcy court, which Itaquere said in the letter it expects within days.

Itaquere employs 735 people in the states of Mato Grosso and Rondonia and hopes to make a deal with its creditors to maintain jobs and operations, the letter said, without naming creditors.

Source: Reuters

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