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Report: 3 banks on to final phase of Banco do Brasil's sale of Banco Patagonia

Three banks are moving on to the final phase, which will involve binding offers, for the purchase of Banco Patagonia SA as the Argentine bank's owner, Banco do Brasil SA, took in nonbinding bids of more than $1.35 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing "people familiar with the matter."

The banks qualified to make binding offers after submitting the highest nonbinding bids are Brazil's Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, local company Banco Macro SA and Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, the unnamed people said. Meanwhile, Grupo Financiero Galicia SA failed to qualify after its $1.2 billion offer didn't reach the mark, according to "two people with knowledge of the situation."

The buyers are looking to close a deal in coming weeks, the sources reportedly said.

The value of the nonbinding offers is below Banco Patagonia's market value of about $1.97 billion, as bidders asked for a discount to compensate for inflation, Bloomberg said. Banco do Brasil CEO Paulo Caffarelli previously said the bank is still planning an IPO for its 59% stake in the bank, with Bloomberg saying this will be the case if no offer satisfies its target price.

According to one of the sources, Banco Macro is set to raise more than $600 million, or about 13% of its current market value, if a stock offering is approved by shareholders at an April 28 meeting, on the back of "favorable conditions for growth in the banking industry" in Argentina.