* Credit Suisse has until end of year to buy stake
* Stuhlberger to stay at Credit Suisse after plan
* Estado story confirmed by Credit Suisse spokeswoman
SAO PAULO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse Group CSGN.VX will buy the nearly 50 percent stake it does not own of Brazilian investment fund Hedging-Griffo, which the Swiss bank will make its sole asset management platform in Latin America’s biggest economy, a local newspaper reported on Monday.
Credit Suisse will pay more than 1.25 billion reais ($784 million) before Dec. 31 to take over full control of Hedging-Griffo from about 70 partners, O Estado de S. Paulo said. It paid 635 million reais for a 50 percent stake plus one share in 2006.
Luis Stuhlberger, Hedging-Griffo’s founding partner and most prominent trader, will remain at Credit Suisse under the agreement, Estado said. Stuhlberger will stay at the helm of Verde, Brazil’s largest hedge fund, with more than 9 billion reais under management, Estado said.
A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse in Sao Paulo confirmed the content of Estado’s interview but declined to provide more details on the transaction.
The deal comes as Credit Suisse is vying for a bigger share of Brazil’s highly lucrative asset management industry to fend off rivals such as JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N).
With the purchase, Credit Suisse takes control of Brazil’s most powerful on-shore wealth management unit -- its acquisition in 2006 helped it quadruple assets under management in that division. Under the new structure, the bank will concentrate asset and private banking management under the brand Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo, the newspaper said. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, editing by Maureen Bavdek)