April 13, 2018 / 4:24 PM / 10 months ago

Odebrecht agrees to sell Sao Paulo towers to HSI: source

FILE PHOTO: The site where there will be three corporate towers of Odebrecht SA is pictured in Sao Paulo, Brazil April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA has reached an agreement in principle with real estate investment firm Hemisferio Sul Investimentos SA (HSI) to sell a project in São Paulo, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Under the agreement, HSI will pay a token amount to OR, the real estate arm of Odebrecht, to start the due diligence process related to construction rights for three towers that when completed are expected to reach 1.2 billion reais ($350 million) in value.

OR declined to comment. HSI did not immediately provide comment.

The source said the two parties are in exclusive talks, though the deal can still be broken if HSI exits the process during the due diligence phase. The source requested anonymity to discuss the confidential negotiations.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Odebrecht was in talks with HSI to sell the construction rights for the towers in a large mixed-use development in São Paulo, known as Parque da Cidade. Developer Eztec Empreendimentos e Participações SA (EZTC3.SA) was also among the interested parties.

Several real estate companies in Brazil have been seeking attractive acquisitions in recent years, as struggling developers have been forced to sell at a discount to cut hefty debt loads after an industry downturn. The recent recession led to a surplus of office space in southwest Sao Paulo, where Parque da Cidade is located.

HSI, founded in 2006, has raised more than $4 billion in seven different real estate funds.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Additional reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Richard Chang

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