The billionaire owners of Brazilian flip-flop brand Havaianas are selling the company for nearly £850 million ($US1.1 billion) to help pay a £2.5 billion ($US3.24 billion) fine.
J&F Investimentos sold its 86% stake in Alpargatas, which manufactures the shoes, on Thursday for £844 million ($US1.09 billion) to three Brazilian banking groups.
J&F, which is owned by Brazil’s Batista family, was fined more than $US3 billion (£2.31 billion) in May for bribing nearly 1,900 politicians, which has contributed to Brazil’s current political crisis and threatened the stability of President Michel Temer. Funds from the sale will be used to pay this fine.
Havaianas are arguably the most iconic flip-flop brand in the world, leaning heavily on their Brazilian heritage for market themselves as a brand for care-free, sun-loving beach bums.
The shoes were first sold in 1962 but exploded in popularity in the early 2000s, as the company expanded into Europe, the US, and Asia. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston were also spotted wearing Havaianas’ flip-flops, boosting the brand.
Havaianas flip-flops are based on the traditional Japanese sandal the Zori, which have soles made of rice straw. Havaianas’ trademark soles are rubber but mimic the texture of rice grains.
Alpargatas’ share price dived after Joesley Batista and chairman Vincent Trius resigned from its board in late May, following Batista’s admission of guilt. Shares rallied as the news emerged that J&F were considering selling the company a day later, and have been on an upward trajectory since. Shares are now at a five-year high.
As of 10:33 a.m. BST (05:33 EST) on Friday, shares are up 4.93%. Here is the chart: