Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual SA disposed of more than $250 million of European asset-backed securities this month as the lender dumps assets to raise cash, according to four people familiar with the matter.
BTG mainly offloaded debt secured by loans to junk-rated companies, known as collateralized-loan obligations, said three of the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The bank also got rid of commercial mortgage bonds, the people said.
The arrest last month and imprisonment of billionaire Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andre Esteves sent BTG’s shares and bonds tumbling as investors pulled funds and the firm’s ratings fell to junk. The bank responded by selling a stake in Brazil’s biggest hospital chain and a 1.2 billion-real ($307 million) credit portfolio. BTG is also seeking buyers for a Swiss asset manager and its commodities business.
A 6 billion-real line of credit from Brazil’s privately backed deposit-guarantee fund has helped end speculation the bank’s demise is imminent. Even so, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said this month asset sales are vital if the lender is to survive 2016.
A spokesman for BTG declined to comment on asset sales. Esteves was arrested on suspicion he tried to obstruct a nationwide corruption probe involving the state-owned oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA. He denied the allegations through his attorneys.
BTG’s disposals of CLOs equate to about two percent of the 13.4 billion euros ($14.7 billion) of issuance of the debt this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.