SAO PAULO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Vítor Sarquis Hallack has stepped down as chairman of Brazil’s Camargo Correa SA as the Brazilian engineering company involved in the country’s worst corruption scandal moves to transform itself into an investment holding firm, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Friday.
According to Estado, Camargo Correa, which was founded in 1939 as a civil construction company, is intensifying the search for a replacement for Hallack, who was chairman for about 10 years. The grandchildren of founder Sebastião Camargo occupy most of its board seats.
“The integration of the controlling family’s third generation into the command of the holding company is the natural path and the result of long-term planning,” Hallack said in a statement sent to Estado.
A spokesman for São Paulo-based Camargo Correa did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Hallack’s departure comes a year after Camargo Correa agreed to pay 800 million reais ($249 million) in damages from a corruption scheme at state companies. Its executives were the first to admit taking part in the scheme, which has also accelerated the downfall of President Dilma Rousseff’s government.
Camargo Correa is Brazil’s No. 2 construction company after Odebrecht SA, which is also involved in the “Car Wash” scandal.
Under Hallack, Camargo Correa diversified from the core construction business further into cement, toll roads, fashion and electricity. A former Vale SA senior executive, he could not immediately be reached for comment.
The youngest Camargos, however, have pushed to sell some of those businesses if bids look attractive, leading Camargo Correa to divest stakes in power holding company CPFL Energia SA and apparel maker Alpargatas SA in recent months, Estado said.
$1 = 3.2297 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn