Correios: companies that have already taken a stand on the privatization of the state-owned company

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SAO PAULO – With a heated mergers and acquisitions market and with the advance of e-commerce amidst the pandemic, the race in e-commerce has been fierce, with companies investing not only in portfolio diversification, but also in logistics to speed up the arrival of the products to the final customer.

In this scenario, speculation grows about who will take the Correios with the advance of the privatization process.

Approved in early August by the Chamber of Deputies, the bill that authorizes the privatization of Correios (PL 591/2021) allows the sale of 100% of the state-owned company and the concession of postal services to those who buy the company.

The purchasing company will continue to have exclusivity in these activities for a period of five years. Now, the text needs to be considered by the Federal Senate.

The sale is a bet by the government, which says it does not have the fiscal capacity to invest in the state-owned company and that the company does not have the financial conditions to make investments at the necessary pace to modernize itself.

Thus, in addition to modernizing postal services, privatization makes it possible to avoid the company’s dependence on resources from the National Treasury.

Read more here:
• Postal privatization: what is at stake and what the international experience shows

With the markets eyeing the Correios’ privatization process, some companies took a stand on the issue throughout the second quarter earnings season.

It is the case of the simpar group (SIMH3), who said that the company has an “obligation to analyze the possibility of purchasing the Correios”, but that it is first necessary to have more clarity about the size of the operation and its characteristics to decide if it is worth it.

“The first time there was news that we were looking at Correios, investors were concerned about the impact of this on our leverage. In this regard, I must say that we anchor our development in double-digit returns and the continuous improvement of return on invested capital”, said Denys Marc Ferrez, CFO of Simpar, in an interview with InfoMoney.

According to Ferrez, if the financial volume of the operation is important given the size of the group, possibilities such as Simpar’s presence on an associative basis will be analyzed. The important thing, said the executive, is that the company is commanded to operate as it sees fit.

In September of last year, Fábio Faria, Minister of Communications, stated that Magazine Luiza and four other companies, such as Amazon, DHL and Fedex, had expressed interest in the privatization of Correios.

There was not, however, there was no recent indication of these companies. Last year, Fred Trajano, president of Magazine Luiza, said that the Brazilian market is still very concentrated in the Correios and, regarding the privatization of the public company, he said: “Every player looks at the privatization of Correios very closely and with great interest” .

O Magalu continues to invest in its own logistics options and in July it acquired Sode Intermediação de Negócios, a platform that promises to deliver products within an hour.

Read more:
• Postalis: how the privatization of Correios can change the investments of 200,000 pension fund participants

THE Amazon it also expanded the number of distribution centers this year, amid increased demand, allowing the company to increase to 50 the number of cities served in the one-day delivery with free shipping to Prime customers.

The e-commerce company currently has nine distribution centers. Five of them are in Cajamar (São Paulo), one in Betim (Minas Gerais), one in Santa Maria (DF), one in Santa Rita (RS) and one in Cabo de Santo Agostinho (Pernambuco).

During a press conference earlier this month, the e-commerce giant Free market discarded the interest in an eventual privatization of Correios. “It doesn’t make sense to participate,” said Leandro Bassoi, vice president of logistics at Mercado Livre for Latin America.

“We are not interested in capturing any synergies, because we understand that the constructions made indoors were much more efficient.”

On the occasion, Mercado Livre announced two new distribution centers in the country, in order to expand its logistic infrastructure. One of them will be in Franco da Rocha (SP) and will be inaugurated later this year, while the second center will be in Belo Horizonte (MG), with delivery forecast for 2022.

THE Via, owner of Ponto and Casas Bahia, also showed no interest in the acquisition.

In an interview with InfoMoney one day after the release of the balance sheet for the second quarter, Roberto Fulcherberguer, Via’s CEO, stated that today the company’s dependence on Correios is low, in the order of 2%.

“International players, in order to establish themselves in Brazil and to make volume in the ‘real’ country, not only in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, will need to have logistics with scale and they will hardly have it without omnichannel. We already have it all here. There is a lot that many people are investing to try to have what we already have here”, he said.

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