Agreement on the make-up of BRF’s board – and the position of chairman – moved closer in the last 24 hours with a group of major investors and the Brazilian meat giant’s existing directors issuing statements ahead of next week’s shareholder vote.

The BRF board met yesterday (19 April) and drew up a list of candidates to become the embattled group’s new directors – including Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente, who a number of significant shareholders want to become the company’s next chairman.

BRF’s board list, issued today, includes backing for Parente to be chairman and for Augusto Marques da Cruz Filho to become vice chairman.

A separate statement issued by BRF yesterday said shareholders owning 32.8% of the company – Previ, Petros, Tarpon Investments and current company chairman Abilio Diniz – had agreed among themselves to also back Parente for the role of chair and da Cruz Filho as vice chair.

There had been some disagreement about the make-up of BRF’s new board. At the start of March, Previ and Petros put forward a list of ten candidates for seats to the BRF’s board that excluded Diniz and proposed Augusto da Cruz Filho as a replacement.

BRF is set to hold an extraordinary general shareholders meeting next Thursday.

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BRF has faced shareholder pressure to replace all of its directors. The company ran up an annual loss of BRL1.1bn in 2017, a year that saw a major shake-up of the company’s management in the wake of the so-called Carne Fraca probe, which had made claims of alleged fraud in Brazil’s meat supply chain.

In November, BRF named José Aurélio Drummond Jr. as the new chief executive to replace Pedro de Andrade Faria.