Fosun strikes first Brazil deal with purchase of fund manager Rio Bravo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Fosun Group said on Saturday it has agreed to buy Brazilian fund manager Rio Bravo Investimentos, in the Chinese conglomerate’s first acquisition in Latin America.

Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun International, speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in Beijing, China, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Fosun did not disclose the value of the deal, but said in a statement that it expects to take advantage of the “exceptional period of change and economic renewal” taking place not only in Brazil but also in neighboring economies.

Reuters reported this week that Fosun was in advanced talks to buy Rio Bravo, citing a source familiar with the talks..

Sao Paulo-based Rio Bravo manages about 10 billion reais ($3 billion) of clients’ money in liquid funds, real estate and private equity investments. Its three main partners include former Brazilian central bank president Gustavo Franco, Paulo Bylik and Mario Fleck.

Founded by billionaire Guo Guangchang, Fosun has grown into China’s biggest private conglomerate, with holdings ranging from medical companies to French travel group Club Med.

“Brazil is geographically a conduit linking Latin America and Asia. With its own distinctive economic characteristics and large size, Brazil has a strong influence in the region,” Guo, a self-styled student of U.S. investor Warren Buffett, said in the statement.

He said the acquisition marks an important milestone in laying out Fosun’s globalization strategy of being present in important emerging economies.

Rio Bravo director Fleck said the deal also offers an opportunity to give its Brazilian clients a greater spectrum of financial products.

The Brazilian deal caps a busy week for Fosun in which it struck its first major Indian acquisition, with the $1.3 billion purchase of KKR Co KKR.N-backed Gland Pharma..

Guo told Reuters in an interview in May that Fosun will be paying more attention to Russia, India, Brazil and Africa, after spending more than $30 billion buying real estate, insurance companies and healthcare firms mostly in the developed markets.

Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Kim Coghill