Vale minority shareholders push for board, voting changes: report

FILE PHOTO: Logo of the Brazilian mining company Vale SA is seen in Brumadinho
FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Brazilian mining company Vale SA is seen in Brumadinho, Brazil January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File photo

April 8, 2019

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A group of minority shareholders in Brazilian iron ore maker Vale SA have proposed an alternative board member to challenge the independent members within the group of 13 candidates presented by the company’s board, newspaper Valor Economico reported.

Broker Vic DTVM and fund Geracao Futuro Lpar proposed Patricia Bentes as an independent member and proposed the election be held using a cumulative voting system. Bentes has been a board member of different Brazilian listed power companies and is currently on the board of Cemig as well as a business professor at a Rio de Janeiro university.

That would mean board members would be elected independently and not in a single vote approving all names proposed by the board. Cumulative voting can only be required by shareholders holding at least 5 percent of the company’s capital. The matter will be put to a vote at an April 30 shareholders meeting.

The pressure from minority shareholders reflects skepticism toward Vale’s board and management after a mining dam burst in the town of Brumadinho, killing some 300 people, in the second such disaster in the region in recent years.

The board elected this year will oversee the last year of an agreement overseeing controlling shareholder group Litel, which holds the stakes of pension funds, holding company Bradespar SA and Japan’s Mitsui & Co Ltd, set to expire in November 2020.

Vale did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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