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Berkshire Hathaway in talks to acquire IRB stake: reports

July 25, 2017

Berkshire Hathaway is in talks to acquire a stake in Brazil's reinsurer IRB Brasil Resseguros following its initial public offering (IPO), according to Bloomberg.

On 25 July, the publication reported that its sources had said that no deal is likely to be completed before 27 July, IRB’s IPO pricing date, adding that the acquisition could be made through Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary General Re.

IRB, which was formed in 1939 and was Brazil’s monopoly reinsurer until 2007, published a prospectus earlier in July for a listing of over a fifth of its shares.

IRB is currently 27 percent owned by the Brazilian government. Private and public sector banks own the remainder of the reinsurer, with BB Seguridade Participações and Baradesco Seguros each having a 20.4 percent stake in the carrier and Itaú Unibanco owning a 15 percent stake.

According to Bloomberg, JP Morgan is said to be advising IRB on the stake sale.

IRB shareholders originally agreed to list the company in August 2015, but the offering was postponed. In November 2015, Itaú Unibanco asked the Brazilian securities regulator to halt the pre-IPO process.