UPDATE 1-Ford deal helps Bradesco win first major U.S. underwriting role
(Adds comments from bankers, details on strategy)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO May 16 (Reuters) - Brazilian investment bank Bradesco BBI SA extended its push into the U.S. debt market on Friday by clinching a double role as joint-lead manager and bookrunner of a $1.04 billion sale of asset-backed securities by Ford Motor Co's finance unit.
Bradesco BBI, the wholesale and investment banking unit of Brazil's Banco Bradesco SA, was one of four banks advising Ford Motor Credit Co on the sale of securities. The notes are backed by a revolving pool of prime retail sales contracts secured by new and used vehicles originated in the United States by Ford Credit.
The transaction, which was initially $750 million, was the first in which a Brazilian investment bank acted as a bookrunner and lead manager for a sale of an ABS in the world's largest bond market. Bradesco advised Ford Credit in similar deals over the past three years.
The deal is the result of heavy investment by Bradesco and other Brazilian banks to hone their ability to offer and place securities to investors around the world. Bradesco has topped local and global bond underwriting league tables for the past two years, while Itaú BBA SA and Grupo BTG Pactual SA took the biggest slice of investment banking fees in Brazil in the same period.
"This deal is key to our strategy, which is not only developing the ability to originate a product but also being able to place it to any type of investor around the world," said Renato Ejnisman, managing director of Bradesco BBI's investment banking unit. "Don't be surprised if in a few years Brazilian banks are capable of handling a global issue on their own."
The bank is in talks with several U.S. and European companies for similar deals, Ejnisman said, without elaborating.