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SAO PAULO Dec 14 Brazilian medical laboratory
Instituto Hermes Pardini SA has filed a request for an initial
public offering with regulators, a sign domestic healthcare
companies are luring investor interest despite escalating
political and economic turmoil in Latin America's largest
In the request filed before securities industry watchdog CVM
late on Tuesday, Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based Hermes Pardini did
not specify the size of the offering, a suggested price range
for the transaction or how much it plans to fetch from the sale.
Under terms of the deal, Hermes Pardini will tender new
stock in a so-called primary offering and shareholder Gávea
Investimentos Ltda will dispose of an unspecified number of
shares in a so-called secondary offer. Primary offers help the
company raise money directly, while shareholders partially or
fully exit their stakes in an IPO through secondary offers.
The decision to tap equity investors comes as a number of
Brazilian healthcare firms are on their way to listing their
stock in the São Paulo Stock Exchange or finding strategic
partners. Five of Brazil's largest laboratory, drugstore and
healthcare stocks have gained 62 percent this year, well above
the benchmark Bovespa index's 36 percent rise in the period.
While headwinds stemming from Brazil's harshest recession in
eight decades and a political crisis have hurt healthcare
companies harder and longer than expected, analysts expect
demand for diagnostic and medical services to improve next year.
Brazil's sole IPO this year came from a company in the
sector, underscoring investor optimism on the industry's
outlook. Still, shares of Centro de Imagens Diagnóstico SA
, a smaller rival of Hermes Pardini that went public
at the end of October, are down 25 percent since then.
Hermes Pardini was founded by the namesake Brazilian doctor
in 1959 and is currently 70-percent controlled by his heirs. Rio
de Janeiro-based Gávea owns the remaining 30 percent.
The company hired the investment banking unit of Itaú
Unibanco Holding SA as the IPO's lead underwriter,
alongside those of Banco Bradesco SA, Bank of America
Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley &
(Reporting by Aluisio Alves and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by
Guillermo Parra-Bernal, James Dalgleish and Bernard Orr)