Banco do Brasil Unit’s $6.2 Billion IPO Halted for 30 Days

Banco do Brasil SA’s 12.2 billion-real ($6.2 billion) initial public offering of an insurance unit on the Sao Paulo exchange was suspended for 30 days by Brazil’s securities regulator.

The suspension resulted from the use of “irregular publicity material,” the regulator known as the CVM said today in a statement distributed by e-mail. A CVM press official said the bank on at least one occasion advertised the offering before it was approved by the regulator. A spokesman for the Brasilia-based lender declined to comment.

Banco do Brasil, Latin America’s biggest bank by assets, said earlier this month its insurance unit, BB Seguridade Participacoes SA, planned to sell as much as 675 million of its existing voting shares for 15 reais to 18 reais apiece. The IPO would be the largest in Latin America since July 2009, when Banco Santander Brasil SA raised $7.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The suspension may help the offering as the Sao Paulo exchange is at a very bad moment,” with Brazilian stocks sliding, Rodolfo Amstalden, an analyst at consulting firm Empiricus Research, said by phone from Sao Paulo. He said that while Banco do Brasil’s shares may suffer after the regulator’s decision, “the offering fundamentals won’t change as the suspension wasn’t motivated by a serious reason.”

Banco do Brasil fell 1.8 percent to close at 27.85 reais in Sao Paulo, the first decline in seven trading days. The shares have climbed 30 percent since Nov. 26, when it announced plans for the unit’s IPO, compared with an 8 percent drop in the 69-company Bovespa index over the same period.

BB Seguridade planned to price the shares on April 23 and start trading two days later, according to the prospectus. Banco do Brasil’s investment-banking unit is managing the offering. BB Seguridade controls all Banco do Brasil’s insurance business, including joint ventures with Madrid-based Mapfre SA.

(Updates share price in fifth paragraph.)
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