BTG Pactual Hires Execs for PE Group

(Reuters) – BTG Pactual, the Brazilian securities firm controlled by billionaire Andre Esteves, hired two former executives of retail giants Grupo Pao de Acucar and Lojas Americanas in a bid to expand its consumer-focused private equity business, Valor Economico newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The firm hired Claudio Galeazzi, a restructuring expert who was chief executive of Pao de Acucar (PCAR5.SA) for almost two years, and Roberto Martins de Souza, former chief financial officer of Lojas Americanas (LAME4.SA), Valor said, citing no sources for the information.

BTG Pactual confirmed that Galeazzi and Souza were hired as partners, without providing details of their planned jobs at the firm, Valor said.

Galeazzi, hired in December 2007 to turn around the ailing retailer, stepped down from Pao de Acucar in March after spearheading an aggressive expansion into home appliances that helped more than double the company’s share price. Souza was a former CFO and investor relations director at Lojas Americanas, Brazil’s largest discount retailer, and left the company in December 2009.

Galeazzi and Souza will likely work at BTG Pactual’s private equity and merchant banking unit, which is headed by banker Carlos Fonseca, Valor reported.

BTG Pactual has bought stakes in drugstore chain Farmais, automaker Mitsubishi Motors do Brasil, garage operator Estapar and Derivados do Brasil, which owns a chain of fuel service stations, betting on strong growth in Brazil’s consumer market.

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto, editing by Dave Zimmerman)