BTG Said to Negotiate With Apax for Sale of 25% Stake in Leader

BTG Pactual Participations Ltd. is negotiating to sell a 25 percent stake in Brazilian furniture and clothing retailer Leader Participacoes SA to Apax Partners LLP, the London-based buyout firm, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Apax would pay about 350 million reais ($172 million), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. BTG Pactual Participations is the private-equity arm of Sao Paulo-based Grupo BTG Pactual (BBTG11), led by billionaire Andre Esteves.

BTG outbid rivals for control of Leader this year as competition for retail takeovers heated up. BTG bought about 40 percent of Rio de Janeiro-based Leader in May and announced the purchase of about 30 percent last month, topping GP Investments Ltd. (GPIX), according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Apax, run by Martin Halusa, made its first Brazilian investment in May 2010 when it agreed to buy 54 percent of Tivit Terceirizacao de Processos Servicos e Tecnologia SA, the Sao Paulo-based computer-services company. Apax offered 18.10 reais a share, valuing Tivit at about $1 billion.

Tivit provides outsourcing services to 300 of Brazil’s 500 largest companies, including the country’s major banks and manufacturers, according to Apax. Halusa’s firm, with 58 partners, posted a profit for last year of about $174 million. Holdings included British retailer New Look Group Ltd.

BTG paid 990 million reais for 70 percent of Leader, valuing the company at about 10 times its 2011 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, said one of the people familiar with the deal. The remainder is held by the founding Gouvea family.

Officials for BTG and Benjamin Harding, a spokesman for Apax, declined to comment on whether a deal is being discussed. GP Investments wouldn’t comment on whether it was outbid.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at clucchesi5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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