Raizen hires Rothschild for Tonon mill buy; Tonon replaces legal advisor

20 January 2017

by Aline Lima

 

Raizen Energia (BBB-/BBB) has hired Rothschild as its financial advisor to work on the potential purchase of two mills from Tonon Bioenergia (D), according to two sources familiar with the matter. Tonon, meanwhile, has replaced its legal advisor, Felsberg Advogados, with Thomaz Bastos Waisberg Kurzweil, according to two sources close and a third source familiar with the matter.

 

In late December, Tonon terminated the agreement with financial advisors Laplace Financas and MB Agro. According to the third source familiar, Tonon has hired Renato Takamura, a former official with Laplace, as its new financial advisor.

 

The Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer under bankruptcy protection has been in talks with Raizen – part of the Cosan group – regarding its Santa Candida and Paraiso mills. Tonon has a creditor meeting scheduled for 23 January, but it will likely be postponed, according to the first source close.

 

The talks between Tonon and Raizen were started by the initiative of Tonon’s ownership, according to the second source familiar. There are other investors interested in buying the company’s mills, including Brookfield Energy Partners, a Tonon creditor whose debt falls outside the bankruptcy proceedings.

 

Brookfield bought electricity co-generation assets from Tonon and maintained a partnership with the grower for delivery of the sugarcane bagasse needed for power generation, as reported.

 

“Depending on who is buying Tonon’s mills, Brookfield could feel uncomfortable and make a proposal of their own,” the first source familiar said. “If Raizen closes the deal, Brookfield would feel confident that the bagasse it needs would be granted,” the same source noted.

 

Officials at Tonon, Rothschild, Felsberg Advogados and Thomaz Bastos Waisberg Kurzweil declined to comment on the matter or were not available for comment. Spokespeople at Brookfield and Raizen did not respond to a request for comment.