Seara Agroindustrial seeks R$1.4bn for shipping terminals

Seara Agroindustrial, a grain-trading firm unrelated to the similarly named JBS unit, wants to raise at least R$1.4 million auctioning four grain-shipping terminals between May and June. The amount is enough to cover 60% of its debt, which has been in bankruptcy protection since 2017. Disputes between creditors have been delaying the restructuring plan, which first won approval back in February 2018, and led the judge in charge of the case to allow lenders that didn’t sign up for the proposal to bid on the terminals using their credits. Among the secured creditors who could bid are CHS, Amerra, Bunge, Citibank, Banco do Brasil, Caixa, CNH, John Deere and Caterpillar.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

States could get four more years to pay debts under federal bailout

Financially troubled states could get ten instead of six years to pay back National Treasury loans under the Fiscal Recovery Regime (RRF), according to an amendment proposed by Deputy Pedro Paulo (Democrats, DEM, of Rio de Janeiro). The regime allows the federal government to back state and city loans as long as the subnational entities enact austerity measures. Mr. Paulo also wants to tweak the bill to facilitate joining the program – only Rio de Janeiro so far has entered the regime, but Minas Gerais, Goiás and Rio Grande do Sul are strong candidates – and extended federally-backed loans to financially healthy local governments as well.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

5G expected to boost call center revenue

Fifth generation (5G) mobile technology will expand channel availability for call-center operators. New services may help the industry reverse the revenue decline experienced in recent years due to the lower volume of calls and the digitalization process. E-Consulting data show that call-center revenue in the Brazilian market has been shrinking to R$51.26 billion last year from R$54.14 billion in 2018. During a recent visit to Brazil, Carlos López-Abadía, CEO of Atento, said 5G networks will make it possible to offer more sophisticated services and increase the number of employees working from home. “In big cities, where mobility is a challenge, we will have a better quality of video for service.” The new technology is expected to also reduce latency, further improving communication with consumers. Atento plans to use videoconferencing with 4K resolution to provide real-time technical support to consumers.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

Viracopos concessionaire finally wins approval for restructuring plan

After almost two years of back-and-forth, Viracopos International Airport concessionaire ABV finally won creditor approval for its restructuring plan on Friday. The vote, which followed two days of tough negotiations between ABV and the National Agency of Civil Aviation (Anac), clears the way to re-auctioning the sixth busiest airport in Brazil. Anac is the top creditor of ABV, which owes billions of reais in regulatory fines and also claims it is entitled in billions for losses it has suffered. The regulator’s decision to take the liability issue to an arbitration court cleared the way for the positive outcome. The whole process is still expected to drag on for another two years, but a person who followed the process closely believes the worst is behind the airport.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

Priner Serviços Industriais raises R$174m with IPO

Priner Serviços Industriais raised R$173.9 million with an initial public offering, after pricing its share at R$10 – the floor of the price range, which went as high as R$13. About 40% of the buyers were individual investors. The company decided not to sell an additional lot held by Leblon Equities, believing the share has upside potential. All of the proceeds will go to the industrial service company’s cash — the stock debuts on B3 next Monday.

Source: Valor Econômico
http://www.valor.com.br/international

Suzano seeks additional R$2.8bn per year to cash flow

Suzano, the world’s most competitive pulp maker in cost terms, plans to bring them down even further through a set of measures that will increase operational efficiency and raise cash flow by R$2.8 billion a year by 2024. The announcement comes amid pressure on international raw material prices and high financial leverage as the company is still digesting the merger with Fibria. The goal is to gradually cut operating costs in the pulp business to R$1,300 per tonne from last year’s R$1,584. To materialize that, Suzano aims to reduce the average distance between mills and forests to 156 kilometers from 228 kilometers by 2024 and cut the share of third-party wood in its mix to 23% from 37%. The company is also using digital technology to make forests more competitive and is on its way to start operating a new terminal in the Santos Port, in São Paulo, which will add 4 million tonnes to its export capacity.

Source: Valor Econômico
http://www.valor.com.br/international

Briefs Grain crops value expected to grow R$42bn

The good development of grain crops in the 2019/20 season, firmer soybean and corn prices and an improved scenario for coffee farming have led the Ministry of Agriculture to raise its estimate for the gross value of agricultural production (VBP) in the country in 2020. The ministry calculates the combined VBP of 21 key crops at R$437.9 billion, R$7.7 billion more than forecast in January and a record amount 6.4% higher than in 2019. For the five main livestock chains, on the other hand, the ministry reduced its estimate to R$236.1 billion, R$8.6 billion less than projected last month. The overall VBP of Brazilian agribusiness this year is now estimated at R$674.1 billion, a little less than predict in January but still R$42.5 billion, or 6.7%, up from last year.

Source: Valor Econômico
http://www.valor.com.br/international

Grupo Boticário studying bid for Coty in Brazil

Cosmetics giant Grupo Boticário could make an offer for the Brazilian operations of France’s Coty as a way of raising its share of the hair care market and start selling at supermarkets, says company chief Artur Grynbaum. Coty put the unit for sale last October as part of a global restructuring. Boticário could finance the deal with its cash or raise capital in the market. “We’re evaluating the opportunity, but it doesn’t mean we are obliged to buy it,” says the executive, who controls Boticário in partnership with founder Miguel Krigsner. Coty had sales of R$5.2 billion in Brazil back in 2018, according to Euromonitor data. If the deal goes through, Coty’s operations would be consolidated into the Multi B unit of Boticiário, which distributes products from other manufacturers to multibrand retailers.

Source: Valor Econômico
http://www.valor.com.br/international

Supreme Court guarantees tax immunity for trading firms’ exports

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) has extended to indirect exports the tax immunity provided for in the Federal Constitution. The court unanimously upheld two lawsuits challenging the collection of social security contributions – including Rural Worker’s Assistance Fund (Funrural) – on sales abroad made through trading companies. The decision will impact public accounts as the federal government had been raising R$680 million annually from Funrural through indirect exports. Now, in addition to no longer contributing, farmers will be able to request a refund of the amounts paid in the past five years – up to R$3.4 billion could be returned to taxpayers.

Source: Valor Econômico
http://www.valor.com.br/international

Brazil is now Heineken’s largest consumer market

Brazil underpinned Dutch company Heineken’s growth in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is now its largest consumer market in the world, surpassing the US. Sales of the brand increased 8.3% year-on-year in volume, with double-digit growth in 40 countries, including Brazil. In the fourth quarter, Heineken beer sales increased 4.1% in volume worldwide, and over 10% in Brazil, according to the company. One industry source estimates the brand’s sales in Brazil exceeded 210 million liters last year. Sales above the market average allowed Heineken to expand its market share in Brazil by one percentage point, to 21.7%. Ambev lost 2.2 percentage points in the fourth quarter, reaching 59.1%. Grupo Petrópolis, owner of Itaipava and Petra Puro Malte, increased its share by 0.3 percentage points to 14.9%.

Source: Valor Econômico
http://www.valor.com.br/international