Itaú to pay $220 million for Citigroup’s Brazil assets

The building of a Citibank branch is seen at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo's financial center, Brazil, in a February 19, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/FilesThe building of a Citibank branch is seen at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo's financial center, Brazil, in a February 19, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/Files

Itaú Unibanco Holding SA agreed to pay 710 million reais ($220 million) for the retail banking assets of Citigroup Inc in Brazil, further cementing the leadership of Latin America’s No. 1 bank by market value among wealthy clients in the country.

In a securities filing, Itaú said the deal included 100 percent of Banco Citibank SA’s retail banking and insurance assets, and Citigroup’s stakes in automated teller machine operator TecBan Tecnologia Bancaria SA and Cia Brasileira de Securitização SA, a consumer structured finance firm. The transaction requires regulatory approval, the filing said. According to the filing, the transaction will also involve the restructuring of some unnamed Banco Citibank units that will be eventually spun off and integrated into Itaú’s platform.

Citigroup struggled in Brazil as local lenders gobbled up market share over the past decade and now control 90 percent of the country’s banking assets. For lenders like Itaú, tapping wealthy retail banking clients is key as they seek to increase the share of fee-related income and money management activities on profit.

Two people with knowledge of the deal recently  said that Itaú could pay as much as $300 million for the money-losing unit. The people said Itaú trumped Banco Santander Brasil SA  in the race for Banco Citibank, whose parent is also in the process of exiting Argentina and Colombia.

According to the filing, the acquisition of Banco Citibank and the 5.64 percent and 3.6 percent stakes in TecBan and Cibrasec, respectively, will not impact financial results this year. The deal allows Itaú to increase assets to 1.404 trillion reais, making it Brazil’s second-largest lender.

Minimum capital regulatory ratio readings at Itaú will fall by 0.4 percentage points, the filing said.

 

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