(Adds hiring of investment bank for potential stake sale)
SAO PAULO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian online bank Banco Intermedium has hired an investment bank to look for potential buyers for a stake while it also explores an initial public offering, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
According to the sources, Inter, as the bank is known, has hired the Brazilian subsidiary of Japan's Nomura Securities International to sound out investors, simultaneously with a potential listing on Brazil's stock exchange.
Among investors contacted by Nomura were unnamed buyout firms that usually invest in Brazil, the sources added.
The simultaneous efforts to sell a stake to investors and list the company are intended to identify the best deal. Inter filed on Friday for an initial public offering with Brazilian securities regulator CVM.
Banco Inter and Nomura declined to comment.
Under the regulatory filing, the bank said it would issue new shares and its controlling shareholders, members of Brazil's Menin family, will also sell shares.
The proceeds will be used by Inter to expand its loan book and for potential acquisions.
The Menin family, which controls the bank, is also controlling shareholder in homebuilder MRV Engenharia e Participações SA.
Investment banking units of Banco Bradesco SA, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc and Banco do Brasil SA have been hired to coordinate the offering. .
In December, Inter had 380,000 clients, 3.5 billion reais ($1.1 billion) in assets and 383 million reais in net equity. In 2017, its return on equity was 13 percent. ($1 = 3.2440 reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)