OThe brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista are back to the heavy game of business, once again involving the political environment, the federal government, the Federal Supreme Court (STF), the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), judges , arbitrators and a bunch of lawyers – from former president Michel Temer to Cristiano Zanin, Lula’s defender who arrived at the STF, including Frederick Wassef, who advocated for Jair Bolsonaro.
For five months, the Piauí investigated a conflict that has been going on for almost six years, involving Eldorado Brasil, a company owned by the J&F holding company, owned by the Batista family and one of the largest paper and cellulose manufacturers in the country, and Paper Excellence, which belongs to the powerful Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas. It is the biggest corporate dispute in Brazil, with amounts reaching 15 billion reais.
There are two groups used to sailing in murky waters. J&F has already been through all types of investigations and scandals. His leniency agreement for illegal practices exceeded 10 billion reais. Seven J&F executives entered into plea bargain agreements and faced fines totaling 225 million reais. Joesley Batista was arrested twice. Wesley Batista, his brother, spent five months in jail on charges of trafficking in privileged information.
Sinar Mas has a history of destroying the environment around the world. Due to poor forestry practices, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of its subsidiaries, lost the certificate issued by the Forest Stewardship Council, based in Germany, which certifies responsible forest management. Paper Excellence itself has been suffering complaints in Canada, where it is currently the leader in paper and cellulose. Activists demand that the company, due to its ties with APP, also be removed from the certificate.
J&F negotiated the sale of Eldorado to Paper Excellence in 2017. The following year, however, disagreements took the case to an arbitration chamber. The result was not favorable to the Batista brothers’ company, who were not satisfied and from then on resorted to a series of measures to make the business unfeasible, even claiming to have received death threats and been the target of cyber espionage, he says. Breno Pires in this month’s edition of the magazine. The litigation reached a boiling point when Paper Excellence called the OAB a “puppet” of the Batista brothers.
More recently, in view of the thousands of hectares occupied by Eldorado in Mato Grosso do Sul, J&F hopes that a law that regulates the purchase and lease of rural land by foreigners will result in the annulment of the contract with Paper Excellence. The case is yet to be judged. Other lawsuits filed by the Batista brothers are also awaiting trial.
These are chapters of the dispute between Paper Excellence and the Batistas, which involves billion-dollar figures, espionage, death threats, coups and counter-coups, pride, greed and even issues of national sovereignty.
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And here is an interactive timeline, with a search filter by characters and main facts of the case.