RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Boston-based private equity company Advent International said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy 13 percent of Brazilian medical diagnostics company Fleury SA as it moves ahead with plans to expand investments in the country.
The purchase was agreed to after six months of negotiations with Core, a company that has indirect control of Fleury and will be made with funds raised by Advent's $2.1 billion Lapef VI fund. Lapef was set up in November to invest in Latin America.
A price was not given, but based on Fleury's market value of 2.68 billion reais, a 13 percent holding would be worth 348 million reais ($91 million). The deal is expected to close in about 30 days.
"Considering our investment horizon, the scenario is very attractive," said Wilson Rosa, an Advent Partner adding that the company is seeking more stakes in Brazilian companies.
The purchase comes as Brazil's economy sinks into its biggest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Some companies are taking advantage of falling share prices, a stronger U.S. dollar and Brazilian firms' need for capital to cheaply buy shares.
Rosa said Advent remains interested in financial services and education firms, as well as health and consumer products companies despite the recession.
Advent has stakes in such Brazilian companies as Cetip a securities clearing house, Kroton SA, an education company, and CSU CardSystem.
As a result of the deal, doctors who are shareholders in Fleury will retain 28.3 percent of the company's stock through their company Integritas Participações. Brasdeg, part of Bradesco Seguros e Previdência, will own 16.4 percent.
$1 = 3.83 Brazilian reais Additional reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr. and Luciana Bruno; Writing by Jeb Blount; Editing by Edwina Gibbs