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Michael Klein planning bid for rest of Via Varejo: Valor Economico
Posted on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 13:26
Brazilian investor Michael Klein is considering an approach to acquire the remaining 74.8 per cent stake he does not already own in São Caetano do Sul-headquartered consumer electronics retailer Via Varejo, according to Valor Economico.

Without identifying its sources, the financial newspaper said Klein could bid for the business in partnership with other investors, including XP Investimentos.

However, the latter has since released a statement denying that it is working with the businessman on a possible deal, although it noted that it is always surveying potential opportunities.

Klein has so far declined to comment on the report.

Via Varejo was established through the merger of Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio in 2010 and the firm continues to operate both brands, as well as furniture banner Bartira.

It has close to 1,000 physical and virtual stores, as well as 26 distribution centres, and employs in excess of 50,000 people.

The firm posted net revenue of BRL 6.33 billion (USD 1.59 billion) in the first quarter of 2019, down from BRL 6.60 billion over the corresponding timeframe in 2018.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for the period stood at BRL 521.00 million, compared to BRL 637.00 million in Q1 2018.

A sale of Via Varejo was being mooted as far back as November 2016, when the company said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a divestment.

Since then, a number of prospective suitors have been named in connection with a bid for the firm, including SACI Falabella, Lojas Americanas and Advent International.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there have been 67 deals targeting electronics stores announced worldwide since the beginning of 2019.

Of these, the most valuable was worth USD 430.03 million as Safmar Riteil picked up a 38.9 per cent stake in Russia-based M Video in late February.

© Zephus Ltd