Is Private Bank BSI About To Be Sold Again?

Barely three months after completing the deal could Grupo BTG Pactual SA, the Brazilian bank looking to pull together cash after the arrest of its billionaire founder Andre Esteves, be about to sell BSI, its Swiss private-banking unit.

BTG has been hit hard since the arrest of Esteves and is actively divesting its “non-essential” assets, Chairman Persio Arida said on Wednesday.

BTG completed the acquisition of BSI from Generali for $1.28 billion in September. The transaction boosted BTG’s assets under management to $186.5 billion from $99 billion. BSI Private Bank has been building its presence in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

A buyer for BSI will most likely be found outside of Brazil, and an Asian buyer could be interested in taking on the regional assets and bankers based in Asia.

Among other BTG holdings on the block is BTG’s stake in retailer Uniao de Lojas Leader SA, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The most likely buyer of that holding is the family of founder Newton Gouvea, who died earlier this year. Conversations with the Gouvea family are at an early stage but could stall over price.

Also up for sale is a controlling stake in parking-lot company Allpark Empreendimentos Participacoes e Servicos SA, which could sell for about 1.5 billion reais.

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