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SAO PAULO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Metalúrgica Gerdau SA , the holding company that controls Brazilian steelmaking group Gerdau SA, raised about 900 million reais ($239 million) on Tuesday in a private transaction to help repay debt, two sources with knowledge of the deal said.
Investors bought about 600 million reais worth of common and preferred shares of Metalúrgica at a price of about 1.80 reais each, said the first source, who provided preliminary numbers because stock allotments are still being processed.
The Gerdau Johanpeter family, Metalúrgica's largest shareholder, bought 300 million reais worth of shares, the source said. Tarpon Investimentos SA, Metalúrgica's No. 2 holder of preferred shares with a 20 percent stake, did not participate, a second source added.
The so-called restricted-effort offering originally aimed to place 169 million common and 331 million preferred shares.
The plan comes as Gerdau, like rival steelmakers in Brazil, grapples with a high debt burden that has grown substantially because of the drop in the real - Brazil's currency has lost 30 percent its value against the U.S. dollar this year.
Proceeds will be used to repay debt that Porto Alegre, Brazil-based Metalúrgica owes to Grupo BTG Pactual SA , the largest independent investment bank in the country, the first source said.
BTG Pactual managed the offering, with Itaú BBA, BB Investimentos and Banco Bradesco BBI acting as joint bookrunners, the first source said.
Preferred shares of Metalúrgica Gerdau slumped 8.7 percent on Tuesday. The stock is down 82 percent this year, in line with other steelmaker shares that are being hammered by the impact of slowing growth in China, declining iron ore and steel prices and Brazil's worst recession in a quarter of a century.
Public offerings with restricted efforts differ from standard equity offerings in that a company does not have to request registration of the plan with securities industry watchdog CVM, only qualified investors can participate, and the deals cannot be marketed through road shows or the media.
$1 = 3.7684 Brazilian reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer; Additional reporting by Paula Arend Laier in São Paulo; Editing by Tom Brown