Brazilian central bank allows BTG Pactual founder to recover controlling stake

SAO PAULO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Brazil’s central bank has authorized investment bank BTG Pactual founder Andre Esteves to take back his controlling stake in the bank, which was suspended after his 2016 arrest in a corruption investigation, the company said on Wednesday.

Recovering his key stake in the bank’s controlling partnership, formally known as G7 Holding, still requires approval by regulatory authorities in other countries, it said in a statement.

Esteves was acquitted in the corruption case and had asked the central bank to restore his position in the bank.

BTG said in July that Esteves would rejoin the group with a 61.6% stake, while Chief Executive Roberto Sallouti, Renato Santos, Antonio Porto and Guilherme Paes would continue as partners.

After Esteves became the target of a corruption investigation in 2015, the bank was forced to cut jobs and shed assets.

Esteves was forced to leave his CEO position and swap his controlling voting shares in G7 Holding for preferred stock outside the partnership after his arrest. A Brazilian federal judge acquitted Esteves in July 2018.

Esteves returned to the bank in April 2016, but only as senior adviser.

Brazil’s federal police have raided BTG’s headquarters twice in the last four months. In August, raids were related to the sale of stakes in African oilfields to BTG Pactual.

In October, BTG and former central bank and finance ministry officials were investigated over the alleged illegal leaking of interest rate decisions between 2010 and 2012.

The bank said its asset management unit has maintained the influx of new money in spite of the investigations.

Reporting by Aluísio Alves and Carolina Mandl; Editing by Jane Wardell