Credit Suisse announced it is buying a majority interest in a Brazilian asset management and private banking company.

The Zurich company agreed to pay $294 million in cash for a 50% stake plus one share in Hedging Griffo. It could acquire the remaining stake in the Sao Paulo company after five years.

The deal is expected to close by mid-2007. Hedging-Griffo is to become Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo.

Hedging-Griffo has $7.6 billion of assets under management for high-net-worth individuals in Brazil. Over the past three years, its growth in assets under management has averaged 38.5%.

Credit Suisse has had investment banking operations in Brazil - Banco de Investimentos Credit Suisse SA - since 1990.

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