* Bradesco had offered $1.5 billion for Credicard
* Decision leaves clear path for Itau Unibanco
SAO PAULO May 6 Banco Bradesco SA
, Brazil's second largest private-sector bank, has
dropped plans to purchase Citigroup's local consumer
finance unit Credicard, a Brazilian newspaper reported on
The decision leaves Itau Unibanco Holding SA,
Brazil's largest bank by market value, as the main bidder for
Credicard, O Estado de S.Paulo reported, citing sources close to
Banco Santander Brasil SA, which was also seen
as a potential buyer, has not confirmed its interest and could
leave the race for Credicard soon, the report added.
Estado said Bradesco pulled out of the race to purchase
Credicard after it got no reply from Citigroup for its offer of
3 billion reais ($1.49 billion). The offer was due to expire
during the weekend.
An Itau spokeswoman said the bank made a firm bid for
Credicard but declined to comment on the Estado report.
Spokesmen at Bradesco and Citigroup declined to comment, and no
one at Santander was immediately available.