SAO PAULO May 18 JBS SA's
controlling shareholders sold shares in the meatpacker worth 329
million reais ($98 million) in April, according to regulatory
filings, after JBS's chairman and CEO had secretly begun
negotiating a plea-bargain deal with government prosecutors.
Testimony by Joesley and Wesley Batista about Brazil's
president condoning the payment of bribes as part of that deal
roiled Brazilian financial markets on Thursday, sending JBS
shares 9.7 percent lower.
The shareholders that sold the JBS stock are among the
vehicles through which the billionaire Batista brothers control
the meatpacker, the world's largest.
JBS declined to comment, while J&F Investimentos, the
Batistas main holding company, did not respond to a request for
comment. Brazilian market regulator CVM did not immediately
return a call seeking comment.
($1 = 3.37 reais)
(Reporting By Bruno Federowski and Tatiana Bautzer; Writing by
Christian Plumb; Editing by Brad Haynes and Sandra Maler)