On Wednesday 20, Judge José Benedito Franco de Godoi, of the 1st Chamber of Business Law of the Court of Justice of São Paulo, voted in favor of J&F Investimentos paying an indemnity of 30 million reais to Paper Excellence for bad faith litigation in the dispute over the shares of Eldorado Brasil Celulose. Godoi imposed a fine of 2% of the value of the case, which currently amounts to R$1.5 billion.
Paper Excellence had already won the case in the first instance, but the Batista brothers’ parent company appealed. In a vote that lasted four hours, the magistrate confirmed the initial decision that the judgment obtained by Paper Excellence, which ordered the transfer of 50.59% of J&F’s shares, is valid. In this way, the Indonesian multinational would assume full control of the pulp producer.
However, the second judge to cast his vote, Alexandre Lazzarini, requested more time to review the case and scheduled the resumption of the trial for next Wednesday, the 27th.
According to José Benedito Franco de Godoi, J&F would have acted in bad faith because, according to him, it altered the truth of the facts in court; proceeded recklessly during the process by filing frequent appeals only to delay the decision, raised the theory of hacking without presenting evidence that it occurred and questioned the integrity of the arbitrator based on what the speaker considered routine lawyering work.
In a statement, Paper Excellence said it “continues to have confidence in the Brazilian justice system and expects that its contractual rights will soon be recognized by all competent authorities so that it can carry out its planned investments in the pulp and paper sector in Brazil.”