According to Reuters, American property mogul Sam Zell was reported to be in talks to buy a controlling stake in Brazilian builder Grupo Tha, marking his potential return to Brazil’s red-hot residential real estate market.

The deal would mark Zell’s return to Brazil’s thrivinghousing market after a string of divestitures last year, provinghe still sees players in the industry at attractive value. Equity International exited a five-year investment inhomebuilder Gafisa in 2011 and agreed last week tosell property financing firm Brazilian Finance & Real Estate to a group of investors led by banking powerhouse BTGPactual. This was seen as perhaps a sign that he was fleeing the local real estate “bubble, but it seems that he is back.

Zell’s negotiations with Grupo Tha (which has yearly revenues of about US$400M) were originally reported by Valor Economico, citing a year-end email toemployees sent by Grupo Tha Chief Executive Sandro Westphal.

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