Brazil's Bradesco to buy Florida bank in first international move

The logo of Brazilian Bradesco bank is seen on a branch in Osasco financial centre, Brazil, August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Banco Bradesco SA has embarked on its first-ever international acquisition by paying approximately $500 million to buy BAC Florida Bank, which focuses on high-net-worth individuals.

After the deal closes, Bradesco said its main objective is to expand investment offerings in the United States to BAC’s affluent clients, according to a securities filing on Monday.

Bradesco Chief Executive Officer Octavio de Lazari said on a call with journalists that the Brazilian bank’s private banking clients have increasingly demanded diversification and greater access to global products.

“This move underscores our expansion not only in the U.S., but also in Latin America as a whole, as BAC has clients all over the region,” he said. Only 20 percent of BAC Florida’s clients are Brazilian and 9 percent are American.

Still, Lazari said Bradesco is not seeking to build a retail base outside Brazil, but wants to boost its private banking business.

BAC Florida will add 10,000 customers to Bradesco’s 13,000 private banking clients in Brazil.

“This acquisition is small for Bradesco (less than 1 percent of the bank’s market cap) and tends to help the bank to reduce the gap of its private banking business,” Itaú BBA said in a note to clients, estimating a 30 basis point impact on capital.

Based in Coral Gables, BAC Florida ended 2018 with total assets of $2.2 billion and net income of $29 million. One of its main business segments is real estate financing.

Additional reporting by Ana Mano and Paula Laier; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe



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