August 13, 2018 / 12:56 PM / a month ago

Brazil's Congress should weigh in on Embraer-Boeing deal -lawmaker

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Congress should be consulted on a plan for U.S. planemaker Boeing Co to take over the commercial jet unit of Embraer SA, the speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

The preliminary deal, announced last month, has drawn fire from presidential candidates in Brazil who are concerned about preserving jobs and keeping Embraer competitive. A congressional review could further complicate the politics of a tie-up aimed at challenging the alliance of Airbus SE and Bombardier Inc.

Embraer is a publicly listed company and about 80 percent of its shares are held by foreign investors, but since its privatization Brazil’s government has held a so-called golden share giving it veto rights over strategic decisions.

“I always insist that, when you are going to sell any state asset, the people must be heard through the parliament,” Speaker Rodrigo Maia said in comments published in the Valor Economico newspaper.

“Should Congress ratify the government’s position regarding the golden share? ... In principle, I defend that. I think you need a position from Congress,” he said, according to the paper. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper Editing by Paul Simao)

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