STXNEWS LATAM-Brazil's Laep says it may face negative equity scenario

Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:27am EST

Private-equity firm Laep Investment Ltd said in a securities filing on Friday that it could face negative equity if state development bank BNDES writes down its investment in dairy producer Lacteos Brasil SA LBR, according to a securities filing.

LBR is currently struggling with slowing sales and rising costs. According to a newspaper report this week, BNDES is considering writing down part of its investment in LBR, a fact that could affect the finances of Laep. Laep has an indirect stake in LBR through investment holding company Monticiano SA.

"Any reduction in BNDES' estimates value for its stake could result in an equity write-off at Monticiano that could in turn have impact Laep, whose equity could in fact turn negative," the filing added. Laep is "urgently" looking for alternatives to remain financially and operationally viable, the filing said.