and a refurb of the San Paolo was deemed too costly while a new build would be at least twice that.
The 2029 claims are from Brazil, personally I doubt them.
Regarding the cost of the São Paolo, you don't know if it was deemed too costly compared to the end result, or too costly for the overall navy budget. Considering that they are working on their "own" class of nuclear submarines, the overall budget seems big enough. She is almost 60 years old, so spending anything more than centavos on her would be questionable, hence the "too costly" claim.
A lower risk option would be to acquire a US amphib, such as a LHA-6, and purchase used AV-8Bs or F-35Bs. Cheaper to operate, maintain and train aircrew and with F-35Bs more capable than any other naval airframe the Brazilians could acquire.
And there we are, our local LM rep immediately promoting his product in a thread that has aboslutely nothing to do with the JSF...
FYI, the reasons why Brazil decided against the F/A-18E/F are the same as why they won't consider the F-35. NSA spying and the US won't allow them to build the aircraft from scratch. This is afterall the country that refused to buy the C-130J, in favour of a homegrown alternative.
Either way, India almost certainly won't be selecting the Gripen M, the risk is simply too great given the aircraft has never flown and India would remain the sole operator of the airframe for a significant period of time.
IMHO, they won't select it because far more obvious and better suited choices exist, namely the Rafale and MiG-29K.