(Bloomberg) -- Brazilian shopping chain Americanas SA filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy, a move that protects its US assets while insolvency proceedings play out in its home country. 

Representatives for Americanas filed the bankruptcy petition in Manhattan on Wednesday, court papers show. Chapter 15 bankruptcy filings stop creditors from seizing a company’s assets in the US. 

The retailer nosedived in January after becoming mired in an accounting scandal. The firm, backed by billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, filed for bankruptcy at a court in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 19.

In disclosures to investors, the firm implied it misreported numbers connected to some of its financing and wrongly deducted interest paid to lenders from its liabilities. In all, there were nearly $4 billion of accounting “inconsistencies,” according to a regulatory filing. 

The case is Americanas S.A. and Americanas S.A., 23-10092, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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