The production of beauty hadrons was measured via semi-leptonic decays at mid-rapidity with the ALICE detector at the LHC in the transverse momentum interval 1<pT< 8 GeV/c in minimum-bias p-Pb collisions at sNN=5.02 TeV and in 1.3 < pT< 8 GeV/c in the 20% most central Pb-Pb collisions at sNN=2.76 TeV. The pp reference spectra at sNN=5.02 TeV and s=2.76 TeV, needed for the calculation of the nuclear modification factors RpPb and RPbPb, were obtained by a pQCD-driven scaling of the cross section of electrons from beauty-hadron decays measured at s=7 TeV. In the pT interval 3 < pT< 8 GeV/c, a suppression of the yield of electrons from beauty-hadron decays is observed in Pb-Pb compared to pp collisions. Towards lower pT, the RPbPb values increase with large systematic uncertainties. The RpPb is consistent with unity within systematic uncertainties and is well described by theoretical calculations that include cold nuclear matter effects in p-Pb collisions. The measured RpPb and these calculations indicate that cold nuclear matter effects are small at high transverse momentum also in Pb-Pb collisions. Therefore., the observed reduction of RPbPb below unity at high pT may be ascribed to an effect of the hot and dense medium formed in Pb-Pb collisions.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]
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