UPDATE 1-BTG Pactual to sell Leader department stores -source
(Recasts with source confirming information)
RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO, March 1 (Reuters) - Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA is looking to sell its stake in the Leader chain of department stores to a restructuring firm led by lawyer Fabio Carvalho, said one source directly involved in the deal.
The same source, who asked for anonymity because discussions are private, said Carvalho is not the only suitor for Leader. A transaction could be announced as early as next month.
The negotiations were reported on Tuesday by newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.
The acquisition would involve an investment of more than 300 million reais ($74.72 million) into the struggling retailer, said the newspaper.
The source said the investment amount is still under negotiation. The capital increase would be needed to refinance Leader's 1 billion reais ($250.07 million) with the banks and increase the retailer's working capital.
The dispute comes at a time when BTG Pactual is trying to sell various assets to raise cash and restore investor confidence after billionaire founder André Esteves was arrested in November in connection with a corruption probe in Brazil. Esteves is under house arrest after being released from prison in December. ($1 = 3.9989 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by W Simon, Daniel Flynn and Marguerita Choy)
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