October 3, 2018 / 2:33 PM / 13 days ago

Brazil's Hypera controlling shareholder in plea deal talks-report

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The controlling shareholder of Brazil’s Hypera SA is in initial talks about a plea deal, Brazil’s Valor Economico newspaper reported on Wednesday, as the pharmaceutical company continues an internal probe into alleged corruption.

Both the controlling shareholder Joao Alvez de Queiroz, known as Junior, and Claudio Bergamo, the company’s suspended chief executive, are open to plea deals, according to the report, which cited unnamed sources. However, Junior alone is in initial talks with authorities about such a possibility, it said.

Hypera, Brazil’s largest listed producer of over-the-counter medicines, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In April, police raided the Sao Paulo offices of Hypera as part of a corruption investigation. The company said at the time that the investigation was a result of a plea bargain testimony of a former executive, Nelson Jose de Mello, and that the company itself was not a target of the probe.

In May, Valor reported that Hypera was in talks over a leniency deal with prosecutors that could include a fine of 2 billion reais. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by David Gregorio)

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