Actis invests US$53m in Brazilian cleaning products group Gtex12/11/10

Actis has invested US$53m in Gtex, a cleaning products company based in Brazil, whose stable of brands include, Urca, UFE and Amazon. Following this investment, Actis will initiate a comprehensive growth plan for Gtex in the Brazilian market to include new product lines, geographical expansion, and acquisitions.

Gtex holds a large portfolio of cleaning products, with a strong presence in segments including, laundry soap, fabric softeners, disinfectants, bar soaps, multi-use cleaners and steel wool; its washing powder Amazon H20, is one of the first eco-friendly brands in Brazil.

Gtex has over 1,000 employees and a strong geographical footprint, with five production facilities located in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Maranhão, Pernambuco and Mato Grosso.

Brazil is the fourth largest market in the world for cleaning products with a US$6bn industry. This growing sector is being driven by the arrival of an ever greater number of consumers into the market – it is estimated that around 20m Brazilians have entered the middle class over the last five years. Better distribution income and greater social mobility means the consumption of cleaning products is expected to experience strong growth over the next few years.

Neiva and José Santos, the entrepreneurs who founded the company, will keep a stake and continue their involvement in the company’s operations. “This partnership with Actis will allow Gtex to launch new product lines within the existing portfolio of brands; becoming one of the leading companies in the market”, said José Santos.

Chu Kong, Co-Head of Actis in Latin America, said, “Actis’s experience in the consumer and retail sector, and our long term investment approach, will safeguard the success of Gtex, supporting its sustained growth. The expansion plan will be aggressive and will include innovative products lines, geographical expansion and acquisitions that will complement the Gtex portfolio.”

Paul Fletcher, Senior Partner at Actis, said, “This is Actis’s second deal in Brazil in the last two months and is indicative of the strength of Actis’s commitment to Brazil and the opportunities we see there.”

Actis’s investment in Gtex is funded from the US$2.9billion fund, Actis Emerging Markets 3. Consumer is a key sector for Actis which invested US$58m in Brazilian supermarket chain, Companhia Sulamericana de Distribuição (‘CSD’) in September 2010.