UPDATE 2-Brazil's Hypermarcas sinks as former executive admits bribery

martes 28 de junio de 2016 18:12 GYT

(Adds closing share prices)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Silvio Cascione

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA, June 28 (Reuters) - Shares of Hypermarcas SA, the largest Brazilian producer of generic drugs, had their biggest intraday plunge in four years on Tuesday, on reports that a former senior executive admitted paying bribes to ruling coalition politicians.

In a securities filing, Hypermarcas said an independent audit found that Nelson Mello, a former institutional relations director, authorized expenses on his own initiative without the required proof of services rendered. Mello agreed to reimburse the company for any losses or damage caused, the filing said.

According to newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, Mello admitted to prosecutors paying 30 million reais ($8.85 million) in bribes to senators of the PMDB party. Estado said Senate President Renan Calheiros and former Planning Minister Romero Jucá, both from the PMDB, were recipients of the bribes.

Mello, who left Hypermarcas in March, could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Jucá denied the report, while representatives for Calheiros did not respond to a request for comment.

Hypermarcas said in the filing that it is not the target of an investigation.

The stock shed 8.5 percent to 25.95 reais on Tuesday. The drop pared back year-to-date gains to about 21 percent.

"The news is disturbing - How is it possible that 30 million reais were spent without 'accountability?' What were Mr. Mello's motivations?" Credit Suisse Securities analysts led by Tobias Stingelin wrote in a client note.   Continuación...