Avianca share­holder Efro­movich dis­misses Brazil scam al­le­ga­tions

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES / BOSS - -REUTERS

BO­GOTA: Ger­man Efro­movich, a ma­jor­ity share­holder of Avianca Hold­ings AVT_p.CN, said he is in­no­cent of al­leged cor­rup­tion un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Brazilian pros­e­cu­tors and hopes to win back con­trol of the Colom­bian air­line.

Efro­movich and his brother, Jose, were placed un­der house ar­rest in Brazil ear­lier this week as part of the coun­try's mas­sive Car Wash cor­rup­tion probe.

Protest­ing his in­no­cence in a vir­tual press con­fer­ence, Efro­movich said he re­mained a will­ing in­vestor in Avianca, as the air car­rier un­der­goes a Chap­ter 11 re­struc­tur­ing in the United States af­ter fil­ing for bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion in May.

Brazilian pros­e­cu­tors have ac­cused the broth­ers of laun­der­ing money and brib­ing pub­lic of­fi­cials in or­der to land ship-build­ing con­tracts with Transpetro, the lo­gis­tics unit of Brazilian oil com­pany Petro­bras. The ac­cu­sa­tions are un­re­lated to Avianca. "The doc­u­ments speak for them­selves and this will fall by grav­ity, be­cause of its own weight," Efro­movich said of the ac­cu­sa­tions against him. He said Brazilian in­ves­ti­ga­tors have been in­duced to im­pli­cate him in the case, but did not elab­o­rate.

The Bo­li­vian-born Efro­movich, who also has Brazilian and Colom­bian cit­i­zen­ship, said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion would have no im­pact on his busi­ness deal­ings, adding that he hoped to re­gain con­trol of Avianca's board. "Avianca will need in­vestors and we have put our­selves for­ward in the Chap­ter 11 process via Avianca's lawyers in New York with a group of in­vestors .

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