SAO PAULO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Fortress Investment Group LLC and two partners have offered to buy embattled Brazilian engineer UTC Engenharia SA’s stake in Aeroportos Brasil, which controls Brazil’s Viracopos airport, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.
New York-based Fortress has teamed up with builder WTorre SA and Sao Paulo-based investment firm Invixx to buy 45 percent of Aeroportos Brasil, said the person, who requested anonymity as discussions are ongoing. The person said the stake could cost the group about 550 million reais ($141 million).
UTC is selling assets because of a decline in orders and access to funding, after it said it was involved in a corruption scandal at state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA , a major client.
Fortress’ offer for the stake in Aeroportos Brasil, which owns 51 percent of a concession to operate Viracopos, could also lead Brazil’s state-owned airport operator Infraero to tender part of its 49 percent stake in the airport, the person said.
Located between Sao Paulo and Campinas, Viracopos is one of Brazil’s fastest-growing airports.
Infraero, which also has a right of first refusal on UTC’s stake in Aeroportos Brasil, is considering selling as much as 39 percent of Viracopos, which the person said could be valued at about 550 million reais.
The sale could help the Brazilian government raise cash as it seeks to narrow a swelling budget deficit.
Aeroportos Brasil won the right to operate Viracopos in 2012, when it paid 3.8 billion reais for 51 percent. UTC teamed up with TPI Triunfo Participacoes e Investimentos SA and France’s EGIS Group.
Like UTC, Triunfo owns 45 percent of Aeroportos Brasil. EGIS owns 10 percent.
Fortress and its partners are not the only investors looking at buying UTC’s stake in Aeroportos Brasil, the person said.
Fortress, UTC, WTorre, Invixx and Infraero could not be reached for comment after normal business hours on Thursday.
$1 = 3.90 Brazilian reais Writing by Jeb Blount and Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Christopher Cushing