RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - The largest shareholders of Vale SA have decided to dissolve an investment holding company through which they controlled the world’s biggest iron ore producer for 20 years, newspaper O Globo reported on Sunday.
The decision, amid ongoing efforts to renew a shareholder accord, would allow the individual shareholders to directly control their stakes in Vale and begin to vote on their own.
The newspaper, in Vale’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro, did not say how soon the actual dissolution of the holding company would occur.
The partners in Valepar SA, as the holding company is known, include Bradespar SA, Mitsui & Co., several Brazilian state-run pension funds led by Previ Caixa de Previdência, and Brazil’s state development bank, known as the BNDES.
Reuters reported on Jan. 19 that members of Valepar were negotiating an effort to extinguish the bloc over a six-year period. By that point, Vale would become a company with diluted share ownership.
O Globo said the partners in Valepar would announce their decision next month. The current 20-year Valepar shareholder accord expires in April.
With Valepar no longer acting as a bloc, Bradespar and Previ believe the company will be more attractive to other investors, people familiar with the matter told Reuters in January.
A more dispersed shareholder structure could result in enhanced transparency and less meddling by Brazil’s government, which can influence decisions through the BNDES and the pension funds.
It can also exert veto power through a so-called golden share, which allows it to fend off hostile takeover attempts and shape strategic decisions.
In addition to Previ, the pension funds with stakes in Valepar include Petros Fundação, Funcef and privately-owned Fundação Cesp.
Previ and Bradespar did not have an immediate comment on the O Globo report. Spokespeople for BNDES and Petros did not immediately return calls by Reuters on Sunday seeking comment.
Officials at Mitsui could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Alan Crosby)