UPDATE 3-Billionaire Safra has no plans to buy BSI from BTG Pactual
(Recasts to add Safra's plans, details on BSI sale process, share performance throughout)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Tatiana Bautzer
SAO PAULO Jan 13 (Reuters) - Safra Group, the company running the investments of Lebanese-Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra, said it has no plans to bid for Swiss private-banking firm BSI Ltd, rebutting a newspaper report on Wednesday stating that a deal was imminent.
A New York-based spokesman for the group said in a statement emailed to Reuters that private bank J Safra Sarasin "and any other part of the Safra Group are not buying, nor are they going to buy, BSI".
The denial from Safra Group, which has interests in sectors ranging from real estate and global finance to agribusiness, came after the online edition of Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung reported that Brazilian investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA had agreed to sell BSI to J Safra Sarasin for an undisclosed sum.
The newspaper said that it obtained the information from "senior sources." Likewise, Handelszeitung did not report a timetable for the announcement or any terms of the deal.
Joseph Safra is the world's richest banker with a fortune valued at $14 billion by Forbes Magazine.
A number of unidentified private banking firms remain in the running to acquire BSI, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
None of those sources disclosed which banks are vying for the lender that BTG Pactual bought in September for about $1.3 billion. Continuación...