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Plural Said to Seek Brazil Bank Acquisition After Dropping Modal

Plural Capital Ltda., the Brazilian asset manager founded by former Banco BTG Pactual SA partners, is looking to buy a bank after dropping out of a deal to acquire Banco Modal SA, two people familiar with the plan said.

Plural and Modal failed to reach a formal agreement because of concern over an unresolved fine that Modal is disputing, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks aren’t public. Plural was concerned the dispute could delay approval of a deal, the people said. Modal on Aug. 25 announced in an e-mailed statement a preliminary accord to transfer control to Plural.

A third person familiar with the negotiations, who also asked not to be named because the matter is private, said Plural and Modal couldn’t agree on the terms of payment. Sao Paulo-based Plural and Modal may resume negotiations in the future, the people said.

A surge in deals and growing demand for corporate financing is boosting the investment-banking sector in Brazil, the second-largest developing economy after China. Plural was in talks to acquire Rio de Janeiro-based Modal for 300 million reais ($171.7 million) as part of a strategy to become a full-service bank, according to two of the people.

Rodolfo Riechert and Andre Schwartz created Plural in November 2009 after leaving BTG, the Brazilian investment bank led by billionaire Andre Esteves. Plural’s plan to become an investment bank emerged at the same time a non-competition agreement between BTG and its partners ended in July.

Plural declined to comment, according to a press officer who declined to be named because of company policy. Modal also declined to comment, according to its outside press agency, Danthi Comunicacoes.

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