SAO PAULO Nov 24 SACI Falabella SA,
Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd and Lojas
Americanas SA are among a group of retailers
interested in acquiring appliance retailer Via Varejo SA, Valor
Econômico newspaper said on Thursday.
Valor, citing people with knowledge of the situation, said
GPA SA, Via Varejo's controlling shareholder, had
received a list of potential interested parties from Banco
Santander Brasil SA, its advisor in the deal.
Late on Thursday, GPA's board authorized management to start
proceedings to sell the 43.3 percent controlling stake it has in
Via Varejo. Executives and press representatives for
Santiago-based Falabella, Johannesburg-based Steinhoff and Rio
de Janeiro-based Lojas Americanas did not immediately comment.
Via Varejo did not have an immediate comment.
GPA, Brazil's largest diversified retailer, wants to exit
Via Varejo to focus on food retailing. The company, which owns
supermarkets under the Pão de Açúcar brand, posted a larger than
expected third-quarter loss, due in part to a sharp drop in
non-food sales at the group.
Brazil's appliance retailing segment has struggled over the
past two years with the impact of a recession not seen in eight
decades and a credit crunch, which worsened as unemployment and
interest rates climbed.
France's Casino Guichard Perrichon SA, which in turn
controls GPA, hired Santander Brasil to advise on
the Via Varejo deal. The Klein family, holder of a 27.3 percent
stake, has hired the investment banking unit of Banco Bradesco
SA as advisor.
(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Guillermo
Parra-Bernal and David Evans)