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Partners Group acquires stake in Brazilian food retailer

Hortifruti will grow within Brazil through acquisitions and new shop openings, says Partners Group managing director Gonzalo Fernandez-Castro.

International alternative funds manager Partners Group has bought a “significant minority stake” in Brazilian food retailer Hortifruti from local private equity firm Bozano Investimentos.

Partners Group, which has not disclosed further financial details, said in a press release that their managing director and head of Latin American private equity, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castro, would join Hortifruti’s board once the transaction completes.

That is likely to happen in the first quarter of this year following approval by the antitrust regulator Cade, and will give the firm “secured strong governance rights” in the company, said Partners Group.

Hortifruti sells a wide range of foods including fish, fruit, bread, juices, wines and beer, as well as publishing food and health magazines. Last year revenues reached $255 million, and its new investor describes the company as Brazil’s “number one premium retailer of health foods”.

Fernandez-Castro said his firm would work on “growing [Hortifruti] within Brazil through a mix of acquisitions and new store openings, as well as enhancements to the existing stores and business lines.”

Last month, Partners Group became the latest alternatives manager to develop products appealing to retail investors and respond to a shift by one of the industry’s prime funding sources – US public pensions – towards defined contribution (DC) benefit models.

Sister publication Private Equity International reported in December that the manager said it had developed private markets offerings for the world’s three largest DC markets – the US, UK and Australia.

Partners Group has over $47 billion under management.