The strategy of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) of selling shares in large companies that it held in its portfolio is a mantra of the current management, which began in July 2019. Since then, approximately R$ 70 billion have been sold, with highlight for billionaire operations involving Petrobras and Vale shares. In 2020, however, the bank also became a shareholder in inoperative companies, undergoing judicial recovery or bankrupt, such as Mesbla, Motoradio and Piramides Brasília.
Mesbla was a strong retail brand until the 1990s, when it went bankrupt. Motoradio was a traditional manufacturer of sound equipment for automobiles in the 1970s and 1980s. Pirâmides Brasília, a manufacturer of foam for mattresses (with the Pira Spuma brand), was active until the 1970s. Even inoperative, a company can to continue formally existing, for example, as a bankruptcy estate – and therefore to have shares.
The entry of these firms in the bank’s capital goes against the selling strategy, but the BNDES was forced to do so because of the extinction of the former PIS/Pasep Fund, whose resources were transferred to the Employment Compensation Fund (FGTS) , in the midst of federal government measures to mitigate the economic crisis caused by covid-19.
The BNDES highlighted that the shares of firms “in recovery or bankruptcy proceedings or other inoperative situations” were “incorporated” into the balance sheet of BNDESPar, the bank’s holding company, “at no cost for their acquisition”.
With the exception of the purchase of an 8% stake in VLI, a railway operator controlled by Vale, the 2020 share purchases came from the Social Participation Fund (FPS), a “sub-account” of the PIS/Pasep Fund.
Extinguished with the transfer to the FGTS, the PIS/Pasep was created in 1975, it had not received new resources since 1988 and was managed by BNDES. To carry out the transfer of R$ 20.7 billion from the PIS/Pasep under its administration, the BNDES was forced to acquire the assets of the FPS, because the transferred funds had to be “liquid”, that is, easily withdrawn by the workers, he explained. the bank.
With the acquisition of the FPS assets, the BNDES became a shareholder in companies such as Mesbla, Motoradio, Piramides Brasília and others such as Paranapanema, Vulcabras, in addition to receiving more Petrobras shares.
The last management report of the PIS/Pasep Fund, from 2020, classifies as “with qualitative evidence of losses” the shares of Lorenz, Mesbla, Motoradio, Nova América, Pyramids Brasília, Transparan, Usina Santa Olímpia, Brasperola, SAM, Chapecó, Kosmos and Madef.
For the entire FPS cake, BNDES paid R$226.3 million, according to the PIS/Pasep management report. The value is small compared to the total portfolio of equity investments of the BNDES, valued at around R$70 billion at the end of the second quarter. Even after selling R$22 billion in Petrobras shares in a mega-offer in February 2020, the participation in the oil company remains the largest in the BNDES portfolio: 8.1% of the state-owned capital, valued at R$30.9 billion.
Asked about the strategy for dealing with the assets, the BNDES informed that “possible disinvestment opportunities will be analyzed together with the other assets”.(Agência Estado)