June 16, 2017 / 7:34 PM / a year ago

Cambuhy, GP Investments consider bids for Brazil's Alpargatas -sources

SAO PAULO, June 16 (Reuters) - Cambuhy Investimentos Ltda and GP Investments Ltd are among investment firms considering a bid for Brazilian sportswear and shoe maker Alpargatas SA , whose controlling shareholders are already working on a sale, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

According to the people, Cambuhy’s staff led by banker Marcelo Medeiros are discussing a possible offer for the 86 percent stake that Brazil’s billionaire Batista family has in Alpargatas. Cambuhy oversees the investments of another Brazilian billionaire family, the Moreira Salles.

GP Investments, one of the largest Latin American buyout firms, is also eyeing Alpargatas, one of the people said, adding that other interested parties include a group of shareholders in Brazilian cosmetics maker Grupo Boticario. The people spoke under condition of anonymity because the processes remain private.

J&F Investimentos SA, the holding company running the Batista family’s investments, declined to comment. Cambuhy, GP Investments and Grupo Boticário did not immediately comment.

A sale of Alpargatas, which the Batistas bought late in 2015, comes as J&F steps up asset divestitures to raise cash and help the Batistas pay for a 10.3 billion-real ($3.1 billion) leniency fine with Brazilian prosecutors. J&F’s leniency fine, the world’s biggest to date, was imposed after members of the Batista family admitted to bribing scores of politicians.

The Batistas trumped Cambuhy and half a dozen rivals in the race for Alpargatas late in 2015, after presenting a 2.7 billion-real, all-cash offer for the maker of the Havaianas flip-flops worn by celebrities such as Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow. The family almost doubled the stake last year.

Reuters reported on May 23 that the Batistas had considered partially or fully selling Alpargatas as well as dairy producer Fábrica de Produtos Alimentícios Vigor SA earlier this year.

Brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, which negotiated the leniency deal, are conducting talks to sell Alpargatas themselves. Reuters reported earlier in the day that a unit of Chile’s Empresas Copec SA has placed a bid for J&F-controlled pulpmaker Eldorado Brasil Celulose SA.

Preferred shares of Alpargatas rose 2.5 percent in late afternoon trading on Friday to 12.80 reais, raising this year’s rally to 29.5 percent.

$1 = 3.2855 reais Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Lisa Shumaker

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