Thu May 22, 2014 4:48pm EDT

May 22 (Reuters) – A formal bid by CVS Caremark Corp to purchase Brazilian drugstore firm DPSP has been rejected by the company, a Brazilian news website reported on Thursday.

News magazine Exame said CVS had made a formal bid to purchase DPSP for about 4.5 billion reais ($2 billion).

U.S.-based CVS is being advised by local investment firm Patria Investimentos, while DPSP hired Morgan Stanley to help advise in the negotiations, according to Exame.

Last year, CVS purchased Drogaria Onofre, Brazil’s eighth-largest drugstore chain by sales, in its first international venture. Brazil’s pharmacy industry has in recent years seen a surge of mergers and acquisitions as the country’s middle class grew.

DPSP, which includes the Drogaria Sao Paulo and Pacheco chains, is Brazil’s third-largest drugstore operator by number of stores according to the Abramafa pharmacy association, with 840 stores in 80 cities. It trails Raia Drogasil and Brasil Pharma.

Representatives for DPSP said the company would not confirm the report, while representatives for Patria Investimentos declined to comment. CVS’s public relations director also declined to comment and Morgan Stanley in Brazil did not immediately respond to request for comment.

($1 = 2.217 Brazilian reais)