May 10, 2017 / 9:57 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's XP files for IPO amid talks to sell stake to Itaú

(Adds talks to sell a minority stake in XP to Itaú before the IPO)

SAO PAULO, May 10 (Reuters) - Brokerage firm XP Investimentos SA, which is discussing a minority stake sale to Brazil’s largest bank, is filing for an initial public offering that could be the first listing of an independent broker in Latin America’s largest economy.

According to a documentation filed with securities industry watchdog CVM, XP and several shareholders will sell an unspecified number of units in the transaction, a blend of XP’s common and preferred shares. Details on the suggested price tag for the units or a timetable for the deal were not unveiled.

Under terms of the IPO, XP will sell new shares to fund expansion and pay for a recent acquisition. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Guilherme Benchimol, 238 XP partners and U.S. buyout firm General Atlantic LLC are among shareholders selling XP’s stock in a so-called secondary offering, the document said.

XP has acknowledged that Itaú Unibanco Holding SA has made a proposal to acquire a minority stake. Exame Magazine reported on Tuesday that Itaú offered to pay up to 6 billion reais ($1.9 billion) for a 49.5 percent of XP.

Itaú’s bid values XP at the lower end of range at which the brokerage would seek to be priced, between 12 billion reais and 21 billion reais. Reuters reported on March 17 that shareholders of XP could still negotiate a stake sale to an investor prior to the IPO.

Founded in 2000, XP Holding has successfully challenged banks for a significant share of Brazil’s market for brokerage services for retail investors. The company boasts low transaction fees and an extensive network of autonomous dealers. In recent years XP has grown into asset management, and is now seeking a banking license in Brazil and set up wealth management advisory points in the United States and Switzerland.

JPMorgan Chase & Co has been hired as leading underwriter, alongside Itaú, Morgan Stanley & Co, Banco do Brasil SA, Grupo BTG Pactual SA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Banco Bradesco SA, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and J. Safra Corretora SA.

XP’s securities unit will also work as underwriter in the IPO, the document said.

$1 = 3.1672 reais Reporting by Bruno Federowski, Tatiana Bautzer and Aluisio Pereira; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, Sandra Maler and David Gregorio

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