April 20, 2018 / 1:54 AM / 8 months ago

BRF shareholders with 1/3 stake agree on next board of directors

FILE PHOTO: A meatpacking company BRF SA's logo is pictured in Sao Paulo, Brazil March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Shareholders with a combined 32.8 percent stake in Brazilian food processor BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) have agreed to jointly vote for 10 new members of the board of directors, led by Pedro Parente as chairman, BRF said on Thursday in a filing.

Parente, chief executive officer of state-run oil firm Petrobras (PETR4.SA), on Wednesday accepted the invitation of the group to become chairman of BRF, opening the way for a swift resolution to the troubled company’s leadership dispute.

BRF shareholders will vote on the election of new board members on April 26.

Parente is a former CEO of agribusiness company Bunge Brasil and has proven to be a solid chief executive in the recovery of Petrobras. BRF shares jumped almost 10 percent on Wednesday on the news that he accepted the invitation to chair the board.

BRF shares extended gains on Thursday, closing up 4.9 percent.

Key shareholders Tarpon Investimentos and pension funds Petros and Previ, and current BRF Chairman Abilio Diniz agreed to elect Parente, as well and Francisco Petros, Walter Malieni and Flavia Buarque to serve two years on the board, BRF said.

If they have enough votes, the group of shareholders also plans to elect to the board, in the following order, Augusto da Cruz Filho, Roberto Rodrigues, José Luiz Osorio, Roberto Mendes, Dan Ioschpe and Luiz Fernando Furlan.

In a statement accepting Diniz’s invitation, Parente said he would resign his post as chairman of financial exchange operator B3 SA Bolsa Brasil Balcao (B3SA3.SA) if elected to chair BRF’s board.

Furlan, the 15th largest shareholder of BRF, said on Tuesday that a prolonged leadership struggle could damage plans for a turnaround of the company and called for a board that will work as a team.

Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler

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