Brazil‘s largest private bank Itau Unibanco said on Friday it has acquired an 11.36% stake in one of the independent and digital brokerages in the country XP Inc for around BRL 8 billion ($1.61 billion). The move is curious because it occurs months after the bank’s disinvestment in the brokerage.
Last year, the bank segregated its 46% stake in XP and handed it over to its shareholders.
At the beginning of last year, Itau sold 5% of its market share. It then spun off the remaining 41% into a new company. And after that, the shares ended up being distributed, proportionally, to its shareholders. Itausa, the largest shareholder, also sold part of its shares this year, currently holding 11% of the company’s capital.
However, the operation announced this Friday was something foreseen since the original agreement between the two parties, signed in 2017, and does not mean, as the bank implied in its statement to the market, that Itau plans to reinvest heavily in the brokerage. On the contrary, this newly acquired share may also decrease over time.
“The deal does not change XP’s governance and should not have a relevant effect on the 2022 results,” said the lender in a securities filing.
The bank and its shareholders are just taking advantage of previous financial deals. At the same time, Itau continues to make its offer of investment services more robust.
Last January, Itau announced the acquisition of the brokerage firm Ideal. At the time, analysts considered the operation essential to stop the loss of customers for XP and BTG, which have expanded their offer of investment services and distribution channels in recent years. Ideal should be integrated into the bank’s digital investment platform and competitor of XP called Íon.
Also in January, XP Inc, in its turn, announced the signature of a binding agreement for the incorporation of up to 100% of Banco Modal. The idea is to increase competitiveness in the Brazilian financial market.