Blackstone-backed Patria prices IPO above expected range, at $17 per share

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian asset manager Patria Investments Ltd, which is backed by Blackstone Group Inc, priced its class A shares at $17 each in an initial public offering, $1 above the upper limit of its price range, according to a securities filing late on Thursday.

Patria sold 16.65 million shares, while Blackstone offered 10 million shares, all together worth at least $453 million. But both the company and Blackstone could also sell additional shares in the IPO.

The Brazilian asset manager, which manages $14 billion, plans to use the proceeds of the offering mainly to invest in its own funds and to acquire competitors, portfolios and distribution channels, its prospectus said.

Patria’s IPO comes as asset managers in Brazil are seeing record inflows from investors, at a time when the benchmark interest rate in Latin American’s largest economy is at a record low of 2%. Last year, net new money to the industry totaled 156.4 billion reais, according to industry group Anbima.

Another Brazilian asset manager, Vinci Partners, has also filed for an IPO on the Nasdaq, which may value it at $1 billion.

Blackstone acquired a 40% stake in Patria in 2010. Before the IPO its stake was at 30% and could fall to roughly 18%.

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