GP Investments confirms immediate bid for BTG-backed BR Properties: Reuters

(Reuters) — Bermuda-based GP Investments Ltd, Latin America’s largest buyout firm, said late on Friday it planned to immediately launch an offer to buy as much as 63 percent of Brazilian real estate company BR Properties SA (BRPR3.SA).

The move was outlined in a response to a written query about the offer from embattled Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual SA (BBTG11.SA), GP Investments said in a Brazilian securities filing. BTG Pactual is a leading shareholder in BR Properties.

GP Investments, which made a 1.87 billion-real ($470 million) offer for the BR Properties stake on Dec. 11, wants a quick sale to insure it can receive approval from a web of BR Properties’ creditors to renounce rights to accelerated debt payments in the case of a sale within the 45-day limit required under Brazilian securities regulations.

Getting such approval, GP Investimentos said in its response to BTG Pactual, is “extremely uncertain.”

The GP Investments offer values BR Properties stock at a 21 percent premium to its close on Dec. 10. BR Properties fell 4.3 percent on Friday in Sao Paulo before the GP Investments statement was published.

BTG Pactual is selling assets in an attempt to shore up its liquidity in the wake of concerns raised by the Nov. 25 arrest of its former chairman and principal shareholder André Esteves. The arrest led some depositors and investors to pull their money from the bank.

Esteves was arrested on suspicion he interfered with a massive probe of corruption at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), or Petrobras. He was released from jail late Friday and put under house arrest.

BTG Pactual owned 35 percent of Brazil properties before GP Investimentos’ Dec. 11 offer. On Dec. 11 GP Investments, which founded BR Properties in 2006 and exited it six years later, purchased 12.2 percent of its former real estate company on the open market.

If GP Investments buys the maximum amount of shares under its offer, it will own about 75 percent of BR Properties.

GP Investments also said in its filing on Friday that it agreed to BTG Pactual’s suggestion that “poison pill” provisions in BR Properties by-laws designed to discourage takeovers be dropped so that rival offers for the shares can be made.

It also agreed to protect the secrecy of those who might offer their BR Properties shares for sale.