Actis makes first investment in Brazil03/10/10

Actis has invested US$58m in Companhia Sulamericana de Distribuição (‘CSD’), the operator of Brazilian supermarket chains São Francisco and Cidade Canção. CSD is one of the three major supermarket retailers in Paraná state, and is among the top 25 supermarket operators in Brazil. The investment marks Actis’s first Brazilian investment to date.

With the new capital injection, CSD will implement an expansion plan based on the opening of new stores in the states of Paraná, and Mato Grosso do Sul. Actis will hold a significant minority stake, working in partnership with the founding families of São Francisco and Cidade Canção, Nogaroli and Cardoso, who have successfully grown their businesses over the last 30 years.

CSD Chairman, Jefferson Nogaroli said, “Actis’s emerging market focus, experience in the food retail sector, and long term investment approach were essential factors in our decision to partner with them. Our goal with this partnership is to drive CSD to the front line of innovation in food retail in Brazil, offering the best to our customers, with new stores, products and services.”

The objective is to double CSD’s store footprint over the next three to five years. This accelerated growth is expected to create more than 3,000 new jobs in the region. Two new stores will be inaugurated by the end of 2010 in the cities of Arapongas and Umuarama. CEO, Carlos Tavares Cardoso commented, “Our current and future customers can now count on an even broader supply of quality products and services, aligned with the concept of modern retail adopted by Cidade Canção and São Francisco.”

Paul Fletcher, Senior Partner at Actis, said, “Our investment in CSD represents an important milestone for Actis and reflects our commitment to the emerging market consumer story in Latin America. This is a highly auspicious time for Brazil with rising income and increasing access to credit; over 20m Brazilians have entered the middle class over the last 5 years.”

Patrick Ledoux, co-head of Actis in Latin America, said, “The story of the Nogaroli and Cardoso families is one of success and entrepreneurship; our confidence in their management skills was fundamental to our choice of CSD as Actis’s first investment in Brazil.” He adds that Actis will actively assist CSD in this new phase of growth with its local knowledge and deep experience in retail investments in other emerging markets.