| SAO PAULO, April 20
SAO PAULO, April 20 Estácio Participações SA
suspects former Chief Executive Officer Rogério Melzi
was involved in an email leak scandal that added risks to the
Brazilian for-profit education firm's takeover by larger rival
Kroton Educacional SA.
According to a police record filed on Tuesday and obtained
by Reuters, Estácio said there is evidence that two of its
former information technology employees accessed a computer used
by current CEO Pedro Thompson.
Estácio said Melzi, who left the company last June, might
have been involved in an effort to obtain information from
Thompson's computer and participated in the leak of several
emails from around November discussing the Kroton-Estácio deal,
the record showed.
Contacted by Reuters, Melzi declined to comment on the
accusations and said that Estácio did not reach out to him. The
media office of Estácio also declined to comment.
Content from the emails suggested Thompson and an Estácio
lawyer discussed ways to undo the deal. The disclosure of the
emails fanned tension between management and shareholders of
both companies ahead of antitrust analysis of the transaction.
When a local newspaper revealed the content of Thompson's
emails in March, Estácio opened an internal investigation on the
matter. The probe, conducted by ICTS Global Serviços, found no
evidence of wrongdoing by Thompson or other Estácio
Kroton's takeover of Estácio, if approved, could create the
world's largest education company by market value and number of
Shares of Estácio gained 1.8 percent to 16.61 reais on
Thursday, extending year-to-date gains to 7 percent. Kroton
added 1.3 percent to 14.21 reais.
(Writing by Tatiana Bautzer and Bruno Federowski; Editing by
Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Dan Grebler)