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Brazil's Banco BTG Pactual prices follow-on at 46 reais per unit -source

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Banco BTG Pactual SA, Brazil’s largest independent investment banking firm, priced its units at 46 reais in a secondary share offering, one source with knowledge of the matter said.

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The offering totaled 2.4 billion reais, the source added, as the bank sold 52 million units.

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Investment banking units of BTG Pactual, Morgan Stanley, Banco Bradesco SA, UBS and Banco do Brasil SA managed the offering

The bank will increase its free float to 23% from the current 18% level after the share offering, allowing it to enter into a higher level of corporate governance at the São Paulo stock exchange

Selling shareholder BTG Pactual Holding SA will use the proceeds of the offering to partially acquire a stake in Swiss private bank EFG International AG, owned by Banco BTG Pactual, which will also boost the bank’s capital ratio. According to the source, the demand for the units was three times higher than the number of units offered. The healthy demand for the shares shows how BTG Pactual has managed to turn the page since its founder, Andre Esteves, was accused of involvement in a bribery scheme in 2015, then later cleared of corruption charges. Esteves left the CEO role after being jailed, but has since made a gradual return to operations and remains the bank’s largest single shareholder

Although BTG has been around for more than a decade as an investment bank, its digital brokerage has more recently become one of several players that are using online platforms to challenge Brazil’s heavily concentrated banking sector, in which the top five Brazilian banks hold 82% of total banking assets

BTG Pactual units ended 0.13% down on Tuesday at 47.29 reais

Shares in BTG Pactual roughly doubled their price this year, as the brokerage has grown at a fast pace. In May, it launched a full-service digital retail bank, to be led by Amos Genish, former chief executive of Telecom Italia SpA and its Brazilian cellular unit

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler

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