Americanas acquired Hortifruti for R$2.1 billion and disagreed with St. Marche's proposed price of R$700 million, Valor International reported.
An impasse over the offer made by the St. Marche retail chain to buy Hortifruti Natural da Terra (HNT) has led Americanas to suspend negotiations between the parties, Valor has learned. The negotiations were interrupted because the amount on the table was far below the amount paid by the retailer in 2021, sources said on condition of anonymity.
Americanas bought Hortifruti Natural da Terra in 2021 for R$2.1 billion and didn’t expect such a low offer for the company now. The buyers were willing to offer R$700 million, or one-third of the amount paid by Americanas, which is in a court-supervised reorganization.
According to Valor, St. Marche’s shareholders were having difficulty raising the funds, which slowed the negotiations.
Americanas has had to put assets up for sale in order to raise the funds needed to adjust its capital structure, which is also one of the creditors’ demands. The asset sale process is public and Americanas even informed the market when it started looking for buyers.
The retailer had previously halted the sale of Uni.Co, which owns the Imaginarium and Puket brands, because it had not received offers it considered adequate. In the future, Americanas said it may restart the sale process.
After a scandal that revealed that Americanas had an accounting deficit of R$20 billion ($3.83 billion), the company had to file for bankruptcy protection in January 2023. In Brazil, when a legal entity becomes insolvent, measures are taken to ensure that the business remains functioning. At the same time, the owners forfeit their rights in favor of creditors.
✔️ Americanas is one of Brazil’s most traditional retailers, with around 1,800 stores throughout the country, and which in decades has focused on household items, clothing, electronics, food and beverages.
✔️ St Marche is a Brazilian grocery retailer headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil. The company owns 31 stores in the country, with a product range of about 10,000 items.
✔️ Hortifruti, founded in 1989, is Brazil's number one premium retailer of health foods including fruit and vegetables, dairy products, groceries and meats. Hortifruti has 40 existing stores within the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, as well as a large logistical operation, and employs over 6,600 people to serve around 2 million customers per month.
Source: Valor International