The company that makes Havaianas was sold for more that $1 billion after its owners were indicted earlier this year on corruption charges.
The maker of Hollywood’s favorite flip flops has gotten tangled up in Brazil’s long-running corruption scandal.
Alpargatas, the company that makes Havaianas, was sold last week for $1.1 billion by parent company J&F Investments, according to Reuters, citing a securities filing. The sale comes after J&F Investments’ owners, Joesley and Wesley Batista were indicted earlier this year for corruption; the two have testified to bribing 1,829 politicians in order to receive advantageous loans, and other favors.
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The flip flop company, which has been around since 1962 and are a staple in Brazil, became famous in the United States as a favorite of celebrities including Jennifer Lopez and Megan Fox.
Roughly 200 million pairs of the brightly colored footwear are sold every year around the world.
Erik De Castro / Reuters
The move to sell Alpargatas comes after Brazil’s President Temer ordered a halt to further financing of J&F Investments.
State-run lender Caixa Economica Federal had previously financed the loan used to purchase Alpargatas. Batista, one of J&F’s owners, has in turn accused President Temer of accepting bribes himself. Neither Alpargatas nor J&F responded to BuzzFeed News' request for comment on the sale.
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Weirdly enough, this isn’t the first time the fashionable sandals have found themselves part of the 3-year-old investigation into a money laundering scheme known as Operation Car Wash.
J&F Investments bought the flip flop maker in 2015 from Camargo Correa SA, a construction conglomerate which was also caught up in Operation Car Wash. At the time J&F Investments noted that Camargo Correa was selling in order focus on their core operations in construction and infrastructure, and called the purchase “one of the most important transactions of the fashion, apparel, and footwear sector in Brazil.”
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