Cerberus eyeing BTG Pactual's Recovery stake, Oi merger, source says

jueves 3 de diciembre de 2015 13:01 GYT

By Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO Dec 3 (Reuters) - U.S. buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management LP has shown preliminary interest in Grupo BTG Pactual SA's stake in debt collection company Recovery do Brasil, which the embattled Brazilian investment bank wants to sell to shore up capital, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

At the same time, the source said, Cerberus is considering a role in BTG Pactual's effort to find a partner for fixed-line and mobile carrier Oi SA, in which the bank-sponsored Caravelas investment vehicle holds an almost 8 percent voting stake.

The source, who requested anonymity to speak freely, declined to give a timetable for any decision on a potential investment.

New management at BTG Pactual's management is rushing to sell stakeholdings, pools of loans and other assets to shore up cash levels and restore investor confidence following last week's arrest of its founder, André Esteves.

Latin America's largest independent investment bank had 40 billion reais ($10.6 billion) in cash in September and about 15 billion reais in liabilities maturing by year-end.

Cerberus is analyzing how to enter a bidding process for BTG Pactual's controlling stake in Recovery, Latin America's largest debt collector, the source said. The sale has also sparked interest among distressed debt companies such as U.S.-based Lone Star Funds, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

São Paulo-based BTG Pactual's stake in Recovery could fetch up to 1.7 billion reais, depending on whether it includes a platform for pricing loans. A second source involved in the Recovery transaction said Cerberus could be a strong candidate for the asset.

Cerberus, which oversees about $25 billion in investments ranging from private equity to distressed debt and real estate, could also participate in a plan devised by BTG Pactual last year to merge Oi with rival TIM Participações SA , the source said.   Continuación...