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Bradesco Unit to Buy 6.5% Odontoprev Stake From Founder

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Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Bradesco SA’s health insurance unit has agreed to increase its stake in Odontoprev SA to more than half by purchasing 6.5 percent of the dental benefits provider’s voting shares from founder Randal Zanetti.

Bradesco Saude SA didn’t disclose how much it is paying for the stock. Zanetti has stepped down as Odontoprev’s chief executive officer and will become its vice-chairman, the dental benefits company said in a regulatory filing yesterday after the close of trading. The transaction, which would increase the insurer’s stake to 50.01 percent, needs to be approved by the central bank, according to the filing.

“The shares were bought at a price very similar to market’s price these days,” Marco Antonio Rossi, president of Bradesco Seguros e Previdencia SA, which is Bradesco Saude’s controlling shareholder, said in a conference call with analysts today.

Rossi said there’s no need to extend the offering to minority shareholders because “Bradesco was already Odontoprev’s controlling shareholder. There was no change in the company’s controlling block.”

Odontoprev’s shares slumped 5.5 percent to 9.37 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the second-worst performance on the BM&FBovespa Small Cap index, which slipped 0.2 percent. Banco Bradesco gained 0.2 percent to 32.32 reais.

To contact the reporter on this story: Denyse Godoy in Sao Paulo at dgodoy2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net