UPDATE 2-Top BTG Pactual unit holder adds stock despite drop, sources say

jueves 10 de diciembre de 2015 11:24 GYT

(Adds BR Properties stake sale)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO Dec 10 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Emmanuel Hermann, the largest individual unitholder of Grupo BTG Pactual SA, is increasing his stake even as concern that the investment bank could be ensnared in a corruption probe sparked a 57 percent slump in its stock, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Hermann, who had headed BTG Pactual's proprietary equity desk until April 2014, has about doubled his stake to around 2 percent since the Nov. 25 arrest of André Esteves, the bank's founder and his former boss, according to one of the sources.

The source, who is familiar with Hermann's thinking, said the hedge fund manager stepped up the purchase of the bank's units, a blend of voting and non-voting shares in BTG Pactual's investment banking and private equity divisions, because of his "trust in the quality of the crew" that replaced Esteves at the helm of the bank.

The source, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the issue, said Hermann`s 1 percent holding in BTG Pactual was worth about 300 million reais ($53 million) before Esteves` arrest. The units are held in an investment vehicle called Fúria, which means "anger" in Portuguese.

With the additional purchases and the slump in the unit price, the value of Hermann's stake is now about 135 million reais.

Units fell 8.1 percent on Thursday to 12.15 reais. The stock has declined in 11 of the past 12 sessions.

A group of seven co-founders took control after Esteves relinquished all his executive duties last week. They are rapidly shedding non-essential assets, curbing new loans and dismantling massive derivatives positions to help BTG Pactual preserve cash and lure clients back.   Continuación...