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SAO PAULO -Private equity firm Advent International had a profit of around 300% in its investment in Brazilian supermarket chain BIG after agreeing to sell it to Carrefour Brasil for 7.5 billion reais ($1.4 billion), in local currency terms.
According to public data, since acquiring 80% of BIG for a token value from Walmart Inc 2-1/2 years ago, Advent spent around 1.6 billion reais on the supermarket chain. The final result for the private equity firm will be around 6.6 billion reais, considering the price paid by Carrefour and other small previous asset sales by BIG.
Advent changed the Walmart brand to BIG, revamped cash and carry operations under the brand Maxxi and focused on the growth of Sam's Club, which had 25 stores and is close to 45 now, according to Advent partner Wilson Rosa.
"We had a successful turnaround", Rosa said, citing the growth of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, known as EBITDA, from 127 million reais in 2018 to 928 million last year.
Talks for the deal began earlier this year, when Advent suspended the process for listing BIG in Brazil and was approached by Carrefour.
After the cash and stock deal closes, Advent and Walmart will have a combined 5.6% stake in the Brazilian unit of Carrefour. Walmart will receive around 1.5 billion reais ($271 million), still far from offsetting the $4.5 billion loss the company booked when it sold the operations in Brazil.
Shares in Carrefour Brasil SA surged 14% on Wednesday after the announcement of the deal.
The CEO of Carrefour's Brazilian unit, Noel Prioux, said he does not expect problems getting the approval of Brazilian antitrust watchdog CADE. Prioux said in a news conference on Wednesday that the businesses do not have a lot of overlap but a complementary geographical presence and different retail formats.
($1 = 5.5273 reais) REUTERS