Friday, October 24, 2014

Oak Group, do Piauí, partner search

If one day the supermarket chain Oak closed the doors, throwing food in Teresina. With a turnover of r $ 1.7 billion in 2013, the retailer accounts for 73% of food retail in the capital airport. But in order not to lose market and shops reopen, the company needs today from a supply of resources. And the founders of the group have already begun the search for a partner.
Since they were published the first news about the separation of the couple who founded the company, Van and Reginaldo Carvalho, a year ago, increased speculation about the sale of the retailer. Reginaldo, President of the company, ensures that almost everything that is said about a possible sale of the Group's "rumor". The most recent of them, says, is that the company would be next to be bought by Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA). "We never got the deal deeply with any big network," said the value.
A financial market source said that debts with banks would be committing the box and the profitability of the company, which operates in a sector of very tight margins.
According to Carvalho, the Group's bank debt is now about $ 300 million. "The deadline is elongated. We have no default or delay ".
But the Manager assumes that, with 46 stores across the Piauí and Maranhão, the Group has no breath for himself, opening more units. "I don't want someone just to invest, but to improve governance and help me in the conduct of business. Is the natural way of growing companies and we do not want to miss opportunities, "he says.
This year, the Group hired Credit Suisse to seek a partner. But the Bank's mandate ended without that no negotiations had advanced. "I believe that this period of election uncertainty and the risk of recession is not good for business. Nor to sell or to buy. I decided to wait a little longer to see how the market ".
The entrepreneur does not rule out the possibility of hiring again soon a financial advisor to assist you in finding an investor.
Retail supermarket is one of the first to feel the stagnation of the economy. Year to date through August, the sector grew by 1.63% in real terms, according to the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets (Open).
In the case of the Oak Group, the slowdown was abrupt last year here. In 2013, the network grew 13%. This year, the forecast is an increase of 4% in sales, below inflation performance. For 2015, Oak casts a difficult year for growth. "Our idea is to be able to sustain sales," he says.
With 50 years ago, the entrepreneur avoids talking about divorce and how that may impact on the future of the family business. Alongside the Van, he founded the Oak Group and had two sons. The eldest, Reginald Jr., of 23 years, works in the commercial area of the group. Despite the separation, Van continues, even now, working at the company in the position of Vice-President.
Reginaldo Carvalho says he doesn't intend to sell 100% of the group for a major network such as Grupo Pão de Açúcar, Carrefour and Walmart. The three giants of the industry in Brazil also act in Piauí. In the capital, the Oak Group predominates with large advantage, but in the last five years the competition became more fierce. That's when they disembarked the Extra flags (the GPA) and Atacadão (Carrefour). Three years before, arrived the Makro. "We've had 80% of the market in Teresina," he recalls.
The story of Oak in the retail branch Reginaldo is ancient. At the age of seven, he helped his father trader on the counter. At the age of 15, Carvalho opened the first grocery store in Esperantina, interior of Piauí. "It started out as, but then expanded to glazing trade in food," he says.
In 1982, Oak moved to Teresina and, four years later, alongside partner Van, formalized Carvalho Fernandes, a privately held company.
Currently, the Oak Group employs 7 thousand employees. Most of the business (86%) is retail and the remainder corresponds to wholesale sales.
Valor Economico News Item translated automatically
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