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SAO PAULO, July 22 (Reuters) - The founders of Brazilian investment firm Gávea Investimentos Ltda have reached an agreement to buy back the fund from JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Wall Street Journal's online edition reported on Wednesday, citing sources with knowledge of the plans.
The Journal said the agreement has yet to be signed and is currently being reviewed by lawyers. Under terms of the deal, the firm will go back to its founders, including Brazil's former central bank President Arminio Fraga, the paper said, citing the sources.
JPMorgan, which five years ago bought a 55 percent stake in Gávea and over time exercised an option to buy the remaining 45 percent from the founding partners, could be paid over the next 10 years with part of Gávea's earnings, the Journal said. The newspaper said an estimated value of the deal was not immediately available.
JPMorgan declined to comment on the report. Efforts to contact Fraga were unsuccessful. Gávea did not comment.
The sale underscores efforts by JPMorgan to limit exposure to Brazil at a delicate time for Latin America's largest economy, the Journal said. The country is expected to slip into its worst recession in 25 years, unemployment is climbing and inflation is running at the fastest pace in over a decade.
According to the Journal, Gávea manages $5.3 billion in assets, a figure expected to fall slightly with the rearrangement. The company is based in Rio de Janeiro, has offices in São Paulo and a staff of 140 people. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Alan Crosby)