• Brazilian bank aims to boost liquidity after ex-CEO arrested
  • Firm may get about 1.5 billion reais selling stake in Estapar

Grupo BTG Pactual SA, trying to calm investors after the arrest of its founder last week, is in talks to sell a controlling stake in parking-lot company Allpark Empreendimentos Participacoes e Servicos SA for about 1.5 billion reais ($390 million), two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Estapar, as the company is known, is drawing interest from private-equity funds, sovereign-wealth funds and other companies, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. It’s Brazil’s largest parking-lot operator, with 570 garages and 5,100 partners, according to its website.

The Sao Paulo-based investment bank is selling assets to raise cash and reassure clients and investors that their money is safe. Billionaire Andre Esteves, the face of the organization, resigned his leadership posts Sunday after being taken into custody on suspicion of trying to obstruct a corruption probe by offering to help a witness flee the country. He has denied wrongdoing through his lawyer.

“The asset sales help a lot, it’s the right thing to do,” said Max Bohm, an analyst at Sao Paulo-based consulting firm Empiricus Research. “They need to increase liquidity quickly by selling the best assets they have, so they can navigate tough times right now and try to calm investors.”

BTG’s brokerage unit carried out a block trade Tuesday, selling a 223.6 million-real minority stake in BR Properties SA, according to a filing with the local securities regulator. A total of 21.8 million shares were sold at a price of 10.25 reais, according to the filing, which didn’t disclose the seller’s or the buyer’s name. The transaction won’t yield immediate cash for BTG, one person said without elaborating. As of October, BTG held 36 percent of BR Properties’ capital, according to the real estate company’s website.

BTG also is close to selling its remaining 12 percent stake in hospital chain Rede D’Or Sao Luiz SA to GIC Pte, as well as a package of 4 billion reais of loans, the people said. BTG declined to comment on Estapar, BR Properties and Rede D’Or. GIC also declined to comment, as did Estapar and Rede D’Or.

BTG is mulling options for its commodities business including bringing in external investors to bolster funds, people with knowledge of the plan said Nov. 30.

Valor Economico said earlier Tuesday that BTG was trying to sell Estapar for 1.5 billion reais, citing unidentified partners at the bank.

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