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JBS: Brazilian Company Reduces Leverage

After reducing its debt to EBITDA ratio to 3.42 times in the third quarter, from 4.16 times in the previous quarter, Brazilian meat packer JBS forecasts a further reduction in its leverage ratio, to around three times by the end of this year.

“We are well on the way to achieving a leverage ratio close to 3,” said JBS Investor Relations Officer and chairman Jeremiah O’Callaghan on a teleconference with analysts.

He added that the leverage reduction is at a fast pace due to asset sales and by the end of the year there will be an inflow of funds from recent divestments. The company’s net debt, however, is still at R$ 45.5 billion.

Among JBS’ divestments are the sale of Moy Park’s operations and its 19.43% stake in Vigor, with 80% of the proceeds from these transactions being used to pay off debts in the period.

JBS announced a divestment program a few months ago after its executives revealed in plea-bargain deals with the Brazilian authorities their involvement in many high-profile corruption cases.

The brothers Wesley Batista and Joesley Batista, the company’s owners, are arrested on charges of insider trading and market manipulation. Joesley is also accused of omitting information in his testimonies to local authorities.

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