| SAO PAULO
SAO PAULO Dec 12 Demand for a secondary
offering of units of Via Varejo SA, Brazil's largest home
appliance retailer, is solid, but orders are pricing the
offering at the low end of the suggested price range or even
below, two sources with knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.
The Klein family, a major shareholder of Via Varejo, and
controlling shareholder GPA SA, also Brazil's largest
diversified retailer, plan to offer 107.6 million units of Via
Varejo in a transaction expected to be concluded later on
Thursday. Each unit includes one common share and two
The units will be traded on the São Paulo Stock Exchange
under the symbol "VVAR11" starting on Dec. 16.
According to the two sources, who declined to be identified
because the deal is still in the works, demand is strong but
orders are close to the bottom of the 25.60 reais to 33.60 reais
pricing range. Orders from U.S. investors before the deal book
closes on Thursday afternoon will be crucial to determine the
pricing level for the transaction, one of the sources said.
The shareholders of Via Varejo hope to raise as much as 4.9
billion reais ($2.1 billion) through a secondary sale of the
units. GPA will offer 26.9 million units, while the Kleins are
seeking to sell 80.7 million units.
The total number of units could be increased by 16.1 million
units in a so-called supplemental offering, plus another 21.5
million units in an additional offering.
Via Varejo declined to comment.
The investment banking unit of Credit Suisse Group
is leading the deal, along with Bradesco BBI and Bank
of America Merrill Lynch. Bookrunners include Goldman
Sachs Group Inc, Itaú BBA, JPMorgan Chase & Co
, Banco Santander SA, and UBS AG