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Report: Caixa still plans to divest Banco Pan stake, despite having increased it

Despite having exercised a rights agreement that increased its ownership in Banco Pan SA, Brazil's state-owned Caixa Econômica Federal still has longer-term plans to divest the stake, according to a report by Valor Económico.

The report, which cited anonymous sources, said that Caixa intends to offload the stake through a secondary share offering. However, it plans to wait until Banco Pan's share valuation has improved. Banco Pan's shares currently are worth less than they were when first acquired by Caixa; as such, a sale at present prices is unlikely to garner approval by the Brazilian Audit Court, known as TCU.

The Valor report comes shortly after Caixa, in a seemingly contradictory move, exercised its right to acquire 50% of Banco Pan shares that were subscribed by Banco BTG Pactual SA as part of a 400 million reais capital hike. Caixa paid some 259 million reais for the shares, which raises its stake in Banco Pan to 41.7% from 32.8%. The state-owned bank, through its Caixa Participações SA unit, now holds that same stake in Banco Pan as BTG Pactual, with the remainder held by minority investors.

According to an anonymous source cited by Valor, Caixa's exercising its right is a necessary step prior to divestment, as it risked paying more for the shares later on if BTG Pactual chose to sell them. The report also said that Caixa purchased them at a discount to the current trading price.

Under a so-called "buy or sell" clause of the shareholders agreement between the two companies, each may buy the other's position if they choose to sell it.

As of March 14, US$1 was equivalent to 3.84 Brazilian reais.