UPDATE 2-Swiss bank BancaStato makes a play for BTG Pactual's BSI
(Adds statements by BancaStato, BTG Pactual; refiled to fix fault in text formatting)
By Joshua Franklin and Guillermo Parra-Bernal
BERNE/SAO PAULO Jan 14 (Reuters) - Switzerland's BancaStato has emerged as a prospective buyer of BSI, the Swiss private bank bought last year for $1.3 billion by Brazil's embattled Grupo BTG Pactual SA, while bigger rival Julius Baer suggested it would not be bidding.
BTG Pactual has been selling 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.
On Thursday Banca dello Stato del Cantone Ticino (BancaStato) said it was making a non-binding offer for BSI in partnership with two other parties.
"BancaStato sent a non-binding letter of intent for the acquisition of the capital stock of BSI SA. Given its scope, the transaction is coordinated with two important partners, and the bank has informed the State Council of the steps taken," said the bank, which like BSI is based in the Italian-speaking southern Swiss state of Ticino.
A statement on its website called the step "an excellent investment opportunity that is of interest to the whole financial sector and the state can avoid the dismemberment of BSI SA".
BTG Pactual said earlier that its board had authorised a potential sale of BSI after unidentified third parties expressed an interest in acquiring it but could not be certain a deal would be done.
The news came just after Julius Baer Chief Executive Boris Collardi sought to dampen speculation that his bank was in the hunt. Continuación...