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SANTIAGO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual, whose founder was arrested last month in connection with a corruption probe, is in talks to sell its Chilean arm to its local partners and may reach a deal by next week, newspaper Diario Financiero reported on Thursday.
Formed in 2012 when Grupo BTG Pactual bought Celfin Capital for around $600 million, BTG Pactual Chile is an important regional player in trading, asset management and wealth management.
Now the Chilean unit's top executives are seeking to return it to local hands as quickly as possible to prevent "contagion" from a scandal that has swamped Grupo BTG Pactual in Brazil, Chile's Diario Financiero said.
BTG Pactual Chile said it would not comment on press rumors.
Quoting unnamed sources with knowledge of the talks, the newspaper said Celfin founder Jorge Errazuriz had been in Sao Paulo for discussions and was looking at a price of about $200 million for the Chilean assets, although Grupo BTG Pactual wanted closer to $400 million.
The Brazilian company is divesting assets as investors have run scared since the Nov. 25 arrest of founder André Esteves on suspicion of obstructing a sweeping corruption probe.
Those sales will include Grupo BTG Pactual's Swiss private-banking arm, which has drawn interest from rivals vying to score a cut-price deal, sources told Reuters on Wednesday. (Reporting by Antonio de la Jara and Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)