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André Esteves moves closer to regaining controlling stake at BTG Pactual

More than a year after being acquitted of corruption charges, André Esteves is one step closer to regaining his controlling stake in Banco BTG Pactual SA, a company he founded and presided over as it turned into the largest investment bank in Latin America.

Brazil's central bank has approved Esteves' request to join BTG's controlling group, formally known as G7 Holding, although the move is still subject to approval from foreign regulators, the São Paulo-based bank said. Esteves is looking to rejoin the group with a 61.55% stake.

The banker was arrested in late 2015 on allegations of attempting to obstruct a corruption probe into Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras, forcing him to step down as BTG's chairman and CEO and relinquish control of the bank through a share swap with the company's top partners. He returned to BTG as a senior adviser in April 2016 and was cleared of the charges by a federal judge in July 2018.

The arrest shook investor confidence in the bank, prompting it to take a range of actions from shedding assets to cutting jobs. The company also revamped its business model to make earnings less susceptible to volatility.

However, BTG made headlines again in 2019 after police raided its headquarters in August and October as part of investigations into the sale of stakes in African oilfields and the alleged leaking of central bank monetary policy decisions. The bank's shares were up nearly 170% this year prior to the August raids.

Banco BTG Pactual is part of the BTG Pactual Group.