Billionaire Luiz Frias has ousted his sister, Maria Cristina Frias, from the command of the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, according to a note published in the paper Tuesday.
Luiz Frias, who became a billionaire with the initial public offering of digital-payments company PagSeguro Digital Ltd., joined with Fernanda Diamant, widow of the Friases’ brother Otavio Frias Filho, in deposing Maria Cristina as Folha’s editor-in-chief.
The Friases and Diamant hold stakes of 33 percent each in Folha da Manha SA, the family-owned company that has controlled Brazil’s largest newspaper by circulation since 1962. Otavio Frias Filho took over from family patriarch Octavio Frias de Oliveira in 1984 and ran the paper until his death last August, when Maria Cristina took over.
While Frias Filho and then Maria Cristina focused on the newspaper, Luiz Frias turned his attention to parent company Universo Online SA, known as UOL. Through his majority holdings in UOL and PagSeguro, Frias’s fortune is currently valued at about $2.8 billion by Bloomberg.
The new editor-in-chief is Sergio Davila, a 25-year veteran of the paper who had been executive editor since 2010.
Maria Cristina no longer works at the newspaper, Folha said in an email. She was replaced in “the best interest of the company,” the company said.
Maria Cristina and Luiz clashed over the finances and direction of the newspaper. She sought to have dividends from the lucrative UOL online unit invested in the publication, and Luiz disagreed with the editorial line of the newspaper, which he saw as confrontational with the current government and a threat to his banking ambitions, according to online newspaper Brazil Journal.
Bloomberg

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