Banco Macro Is Said to Withdraw Offer to Buy Patagonia Stake

  • Argentine lender was said to be last bidder in sales process
  • Banco do Brasil running out of buyers after losing BBVA, Itau

Banco Patagonia

Photographer: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images

Banco Macro SA won’t move forward with a final offer to buy Banco Patagonia SA from Banco do Brasil SA after entering into exclusive talks earlier this month, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Macro, owned by Argentine billionaire Jorge Horacio Brito, won’t continue pursuing the deal after its binding offer expired today, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Macro was the last bidder in the race to purchase a majority stake in Patagonia, putting the sales process at risk. BBVA Banco Frances SA and Itau Unibanco dropped out after being shortlisted along with Macro, which had presented a bid that valued the bank at $1.8 billion.

Macro raised $766 million last month in a stock sale after saying it wanted to pursue acquisitions. Banco do Brasil, the biggest bank by assets in Latin America, hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2016 to advise on a possible sale of its Argentina unit as it looked for ways to improve capital ratios. Macro emerged as the leading bidder when BBVA Frances hit regulatory hurdles after it refused to pay $74.2 million of its 2016 income taxes, embroiling the bank in a court dispute.

The lender’s shares fell as much as 2.3 percent in New York, touching the lowest level since June 21.

Representatives for Banco Macro, Banco do Brasil and Banco Patagonia declined to comment. A representative from JPMorgan didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

Banco do Brasil has said in the past it might sell Patagonia shares in a secondary offering if it doesn’t reach a deal at its target price.

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