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Brazil | «IPOs to Quintuple in 2013»

Source: Portal ClippingMP « Valor Econômico
By: Talita Moreira and Ana Paula Ragazzi
Translation: C. Brayton

S. PAULO — After a lean year for initial public offerings, with a mere R$ 4.3 billion in play — the lowest amount since 2005 — major corporations will likely reconsider floating, or refloating, shares on the stock market this year.

Is that a lot or a little? In tech IPOs alone, the Nasdaq led the NYSE-Euronext 17 to 15 this year — I am reading from a press release. In 2004, 69 domestic companies and 11 qualified closed-end funds went public on the NYSE, for a total volume of 80 IPOs and $45 billion. Should ADRs not be counted as well?

BB Seguridade, Atacadão, Votorantim Cimentos, Telefónica Latinoamérica and GVT — if the latter  is not sold privately first — are ready to take their turns, for example.

If all of these companies issued shares on the stock market, the sum of those shares could easily surpass the mark of R$20 billion. This figure does not include the IPO of  Smiles, the mileage bonus program of Gol airlines.

After a lean year for IPOs, a selection of major corporation have been identified as ready to issue, or reissue, shares on the stock market in 2013.

In 2012, IPOs raised $4.3 billion, the least since 2005.

Because 2012 was a weak year for IPOs, investment banks are left with a significant number of deals in the making. “These are sizeable companies with excellent track records. I would venture to say that we are seeing the strongest «pipeline» in the last three year,” an investment banking executive, who asked not to be named, commented. “Pipeline” is jargon used by the industry to describe deals that are still in the preparatory stages.

According to this source, 2013 will begin with a “highly favorable” combination of factors not seen for many years: reduced market volatility and a less troubling macroeconomic scenario in Brazil and in the world.  The source says he expects investors will return to taking risks on new opportunities.

This year, economic uncertainties at home and abroad engendered strong volatility in the stock exchanges, and IPOs were crowded out of the market. At the same time, Brazil lost some of its luster in the eyes of investors, who preferred to take their business elsewhere.

In this context, only three IPOs were completed in 2012. The only large transaction was  BTG Pactual, which raised R$ 3.2 billion. Car rental agency Locamérica raised $314 millon and homebuilder Unicasa, R$426 million.

Some of the companies that planned to go public in 2012 were forced to hold back and wait for a more appropriate moment. That was the case with logistics company Vix, the PagueMenos pharmacy chain, and AutoBrasil, a used car broker.

In the view of one banker, the difficult circumstances were not the only factor preventing the issuance of more IPOs this year. “The market did not present enough deals that the investor could have confidence in,” the source, who asked not to be identified, commented.

It is for this reason that deals currently on the M&A radar for next year have a high chance of success despite their size, the banker says.  “These are large corporations whose histories are well known. There will be no shortage of takers for paper like this,” he says.

A good omen for 1Q13 was the success of four follow-on share offerings in December, ranging from more complex cases such as  Marfrig, which raised capital in order to manage its debt, to the esteemed management of Equatorial Energia, which sought funds to invest in the restructuring of Celpa, the electrical operator for the state of Pará [currently in bankruptcy proceedings.] Offering different degrees of discount, all of these transactions were nevertheless sold out. Domestic investors took the lion’s share.

The optimism of the investment banks for the first few months of 2013 is based on the perception that, although there has occurred a pronounced migration of assets into Latin American funds, this does not yet mean that this tendency has become a decision to invest by investment managers, another banker explains.

“Fund managers dedicated to Latin America have strong cash positions, which bodes well for the beginning of the year,”the banker says.

This source says that in late 2012 it was possible to identify two types of investor, both of which decided to wait until after the new year before making investment decisions. For this reason, companies which had intended to risk an IPO in December put these plans on hold.  On the other hand were those who believed in consumer goods, whose stock has performed well and have no incentive to raise more funds in the market or revise their portfolio. On the other hand, there are those invested more heavily in sectors listed on the Ibovespa, taking a traditional view of the market and underperforming their peers. Such was the case with Vale, Petrobras, the banks, and the electrical utilities elétricas, which shied away from a risky reorganization of their assets.

Of all the IPOs expected, the only one that has in fact announced is BB Seguridade, a recently created firm that will manage the insurance, invested capital and pension operations of the Banco do Brasil. BB Seguridade.

Itaú BBA, Bradesco BBI, J.P. Morgan, BTG Pactual, Citigroup and Brasil Plural have been named to coordinate the offering.

The offering should raise at least R$ 5 billion. The greater part will consist in the sale of an interest that BB maintains in the capital of its insurance spinoff. A maior parte corresponderá à venda de uma fatia que o BB detém no capital da nova empresa.

Another deal anticipated by the market is Atacadão, a Carrefour subsidiary that operates in the «atacarejo» segment: a combination of retail and wholesale. One bank says the company should be able to raise R$ 4 billion..

If all the IPOs on the list succeed, the sum value would exceed  R$ 20 bi.

In the case of Votorantim Cimentos, at least R$ 3 billion could be raised in a deal coordinated by Itaú BBA and  J.P. Morgan, according to a report by Bloomberg. The company denies that an IPO is part of its “current plans,” but Valor discovered that a number of banks are jockeying for position in the group of coordinators that will structure the offer.

Even more besest by doubts are IPOs from telecom operators Telefónica Latinoamérica and GVT.

In the case of Telefónica, the Spaniards have already announced an IPO of shares in its holding company, which contains its operations in Latin America, the fastest growing in its portfolio. It is not yet clear what form this transaction might take, however.

One theory is that Telefónica-held operators in each country will remain under the organizational umbrella of the holding company, but another possible scenario is that these assets be organized as part of Vivo, which would then hold a relaunch offering. It also remains an open question as to whether the offer would made through NYSE-Euronext or the BM&FBovespa. Telefonica recently transferred its Latin American offices to São Paulo..

What can be said is that an offer by Telefónica Latinoamérica would be worth billions. CEO Cesar Alierta has stated that Telefonica is considering selling 15% of the  holding company as part of a plan to reduce the group’s €50 billion in debt.

Question marks continue to surround GVT as well. Vivendi is looking for a buyer for the company and hired financial consultants from Deutsche Bank, Rothschild and Credit Suisse. Ideally, the French would sell GVT without taking it public, and have received four offers Apax Partners,  Gávea, BTG Pactual and DirecTV, which controls Sky Brasil.

On December 10, GVT announced it would be moving into mobile telephony, a move to be financed with a  €7 billion sale.

The deal is a complex one, however, because Vivendi expects to receive some €8 billion for GVT — a price tag that has kept the telephone operators from answering the call.

For that reason, the prospects for a fresh IPO for GVT — which retired  its shares when Vivendi acquired it — are not completely discarded by the French, and investment bankers consider it likely. The bankers say that selling the telecom operator in the market would be much easier than finding a single buyer to aquire 100% of the company.

 CPFL Renováveis could resuscitate its planned IPO — foreseen for 2012 but suspended over uncertainties involving the government’s involvement in the electricity sector. .Electricity transmitter Alupar, the Rio de Janeiro sewage company Cedae and Linx, an IT company, have also submitted stock offers to CVM, the Brazilian SEC equivalent..