UPDATE 1-Lone Star enters exclusive talks with Brazil's BTG to buy Recovery -source
(Adds details, context)
By Tatiana Bautzer and Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO Dec 17 (Reuters) - Lone Star Funds on Thursday signed an agreement for exclusive talks to acquire Grupo BTG Pactual's 50 percent stake in Recovery do Brasil, the biggest debt collector in Latin America, according to a source directly related to the matter.
The stake could be worth up to $439 million (1.7 billion reais) if the sale includes the platform that Recovery uses to price loans, said the source, who asked not to be identified.
Without that, the price tag would be in the region of 800 million reais.
BTG Pactual and Lone Star declined to comment.
BTG Pactual, Latin America's largest independent investment bank, is selling assets to raise cash in the wake of the arrest of its founder André Esteves. Brazil's Federal Supreme Court ordered the release of the billionaire on Thursday.
As many as 23 firms had shown preliminary interest in Recovery, the source said. Interested parties had a Wednesday deadline to submit non-binding proposals but it was not clear how many did so.
According to a second source, who requested anonymity because negotiations were underway, Lone Star executive Matt Meredith came to Brazil to sign the agreement. Continuación...