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SAO PAULO, May 9 (Reuters) - Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, Brazil's largest private lender, has offered 6 billion reais ($1.9 billion) for a minority stake in securities firm XP Holding Investimentos SA, Brazilian magazine Exame reported on its website on Tuesday.
Exame said Itaú is proposing to buy 49.5 percent of XP, without saying how it got the information. According to the report, some current shareholders led by founder Guilherme Benchimol would keep control of the broker after the stake sale and continue to manage it separately from Itaú.
XP was expected to file for an initial public offering that could value the company between 12 billion and 20 billion reais, Reuters reported on March 17.
The investment banking units of Morgan Stanley, Grupo BTG Pactual SA, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA were hired to lead the offering's underwriting.
One of the securities firm's largest shareholders is U.S. buyout firm General Atlantic LLC, that had been considering selling part of its stake in a private placement before the IPO.
Itaú and XP did not have immediate comment on Exame's report. ($1 = 3.1898 reais) (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer)