Brazilian retailer Americanas SA (AMER3.SA) owes an array of creditors nearly $8 billion, a Rio de Janeiro court said on Wednesday, giving the most complete picture yet of the exposure of banks and other groups to the company’s bankruptcy.
Americanas, backed by the billionaire trio that established investment firm 3G Capital, entered bankruptcy protection last week after revealing “inconsistencies” in its accounting, prompting top investors such as Capital Group and BlackRock (BLK.N) to scale back their positions in the firm.
The list issued on Wednesday includes about 41.2 billion reais ($8.1 billion) in debt, according to the court, which initially did not reveal the names of the creditors.
Later, Americanas disclosed the entire list of 7,720 creditors in a securities filing, ranging from small debts with cities and individuals to multi-billion-reais debts with banks.
Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) was first on the list of creditors revealed by Americanas with $1 billion, but the German lender later said it had no exposure to the retailer and would not be hurt by its bankruptcy.
“Deutsche Bank is not affected as it neither has a lending relationship nor any credit exposure to the company in question,” it said in an emailed statement.
A source with knowledge of the situation said Deutsche Bank instead served as a trustee for two bonds of $500 million each guaranteed by Americanas.
Brazilian banks Bradesco (BBDC4.SA), BTG Pactual (BPAC3.SA), and Santander Brasil (SANB3.SA) – which analysts previously said were among the most exposed – were also on the list, with debts of more than 3.5 billion reais each.
Bradesco plans to file an international lawsuit against Americanas and Santander has appealed the bankruptcy protection, Reuters reported. On Tuesday, a judge suspended a prior ruling that would have authorized BTG to protect 1.2 billion reais that Americanas had in an account with that bank. However, the ruling was later revised by a federal court on Wednesday.
The lenders failed to immediately reply to requests for comment after the list of creditors was disclosed.
Later on Wednesday, Americanas sought protection under Chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, a move that would assist the company to protect its U.S. assets from creditors and enable it to seek U.S. court recognition of its Brazilian restructuring.
BlackRock Inc, a U.S. investment management firm, sharply scaled back its position in the company following the accounting scandal, Americanas said.
Data published on Americanas’ website showed that last month BlackRock held more than 45.5 million common shares in the company, a stake of about 5.05%.
The retailer said BlackRock had since reduced its position to just over 1 million shares, or roughly 0.12%, plus some derivative instruments forming 0.36% of its total common shares.
Earlier this week, Capital International Investors also disclosed it had cut its position in Americanas to 4.07% from 7.04%. Shares in Americanas surged 20% to 0.96 real on Wednesday, but are still down about 90% year-to-date.
($1 = 5.1170 reais)