Bid by U.S. fund Amerra for Brazil sugar mill fails to win creditor approval

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A bid by U.S.-based fund Amerra Capital Management LLC to buy one of the mills from Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer Clealco failed to win approval from a group of creditors of the Brazilian company.

Clealco, which filed for bankruptcy protection in July, said late on Monday that Amerra’s bid of $47 million for its Queiroz mill, one of the three mills the company operates in Brazil, was not approved, at a meeting on Monday, by creditors who have a total debt estimated at around 1 billion reais ($238.03 million).

Amerra, a fund specialized in distressed assets and high-yield financing, is also a creditor of Clealco, which is proposing in its in-court recovery plan to sell the Queiroz plant to pay back most creditors.

Amerra already controls a sugar and ethanol plant in Brazil, the Naviraí mill in Mato Grosso do Sul state, which it acquired from Brazil’s Infinity, a company that filed for bankruptcy protection in the troubled Brazilian sugar sector.

A third bankruptcy case involving Amerra is linked to local grain trader Seara Agro, which is selling some assets such as port terminals and elevators as part of its recovery plan.

Clealco said in a statement that creditors thought the bid did not value the Queiroz mill properly.

More than 70 mills have gone under bankruptcy protection in Brazil in the last years, after a long period of low sugar and ethanol prices.

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Nick Zieminski