CORRECTED-Fibria eyes mergers after multi-year turnaround

miércoles 2 de diciembre de 2015 15:53 GYT

(Corrects title of Marcelo Castelli to CEO in 1st paragraph)

By Paul Kilby

NEW YORK, Dec 2 (IFR) - Fibria is eyeing M&A options following a multi-year turnaround that has put the Brazilian pulp company firmly in high-grade territory, CEO Marcelo Castelli said in New York on Wednesday.

"We are bigger, stronger and more competitive," said Castelli at a Fibria Day event in New York. "(M&A) rumors in the market increasingly involve Fibria. We have turned the company around so this is music to the ears of the shareholders."

J&F, the owner of meat producer JBS and pulp company Eldorado, reportedly denied earlier this year that it was negotiating a purchase of Fibria - now the world's largest producer of market pulp.

Castelli expects any possible transaction to be a merger rather than a full blown acquisition, but noted that the company has market access should it require funding.

"It is more of a big 'M' and a little 'a,' said Castelli. "If we need to access the bond market for acquisitions or different projects we are ok with that."

Fibria has been one of the few positive stories in a sea of distressed credits in Brazil where a economic recession and a widespread corruption scandal has sent spreads wider.

Just last month Moody's became the last of three rating agencies to award an investment-grade rating to a company that has brought its leverage down to 2.9 times this year from a peak of 6.1 times in 2011.   Continuación...