Brazil Banks Bulk up
Brazil’s banking hierarchy is upended by the Itaú-Unibanco merger and Banco do Brasil’s aggressive shopping spree. Underdog Bradesco evaluates its options.
by Dan Shirai The big secret shared by Roberto Setubal and
Pedro Moreira Salles could not have been unveiled in a more
elegant way. The CEOs and controlling family figureheads of
Itaú and Unibanco, respectively, say they had been in
talks for 15 months before anyone beyond an inner-most circle
of advisers had an inkling about the union, announced on
November 3. The up to 26 billion reais deal is set to create
LatAms biggest bank by assets and the ninth largest in
the Western hemisphere, according to Economatica. For the
first time we were faced with a foreign competitor that was
bigger in scale and capital than Unibanco, and the same size as
Itaú, writes Salles, referring to Santander, in a
memo sent to Unibanco employees on the day Itaú-Unibanco
was announced. He and Setubal began in July 2007 a series of
secret meetings to discuss...
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