Exclusive-Visa-backed payments firm Conductor readies U.S. IPO - sources

FILE PHOTO: Consumers shop at a supermarket in Sao Paulo, Brazil January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian payments firm Conductor has hired banks for an initial public offering in the United States that could come as early as this year, as Latin America's financial sector is enlivened by the arrival of several newcomers, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Conductor, which is backed by venture capital firm Riverwood Capital and payments processor Visa Inc, is a provider of technology for financial services. Its tools allow retailers, banks and financial startups to offer credit cards and payment wallets to their clients, for instance.

Investment banking units of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America and Credit Suisse will manage the offering, the sources added. None of those banks immediately commented on the matter.

The company also declined to comment.

Should Conductor conclude a listing on a U.S. exchange, it will follow in the footsteps of two other Brazilian payments companies, StoneCo Ltd and PagSeguro Digital Ltd.

The sources didn't say which U.S. exchange Conductor was likely to pick for the listing, how much money it would seek to raise, or what valuation it hoped for.

Conductor has 95 million users and processes $20 billion in payments transactions per year in Latin America, according to the company's website.

Last year, Conductor started to expand across Latin America to countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Equador and Colombia.

The share offering will mainly be new stock as the company plans to raise proceeds to fund its expansion to new countries, launch products and engage in M&A, one of the sources added.

The company last year raised roughly $170 million in two tranches with investors such as Singapore's Temasek Holdings, Viking Global Investors and Sunley House, an affiliate of Advent International, aiming at entering new countries.

In an interview with Reuters in October, Conductor Chief Executive Antonio Soares said the company is poised for rapid growth in the region as much of Latin America's population does not have a bank account, creating opportunities for non-traditional finance firms.

Around a third of Brazilians do not have a bank account.

Regulators in the region, such as Brazil's central bank, are also encouraging more competition for financial services and products.

($1 = 5.1714 reais)

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by David Holmes)

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