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Brazil's Magazine Luiza eyes wide range of potential acquisitions

SAO PAULO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza SA is open to “all kinds” of acquisitions including supermarkets, its chief executive said on Tuesday, pointing to a sector that has seen robust growth during quarantine measures.

But Frederico Trajano cautioned that the company’s interests went beyond “product categories,” citing the acquisition strategy of larger rival Amazon.com whose targets have ranged from robotics to supermarkets.

“The spectrum (of acquisition targets) is very wide when you have a vision as comprehensive as ours. It’s not just any piece that fits the puzzle, but we can buy all kinds of companies,” Trajano said on an analyst call. “Don’t be surprised.”

Magazine Luiza on Monday reported second quarter sales surged 49% to 8.6 billion reais ($1.6 billion), helped by its strong e-commerce footprint more than its brick and mortar stores.

Magazine Luiza’s shares shot up nearly 10% on Tuesday, on for their biggest rise in over three months and the biggest gainer on the Bovespa index.

Analysts at BB Investimentos noted that in July alone sales in physical stores rose 10% and online sales soared 162%, “signaling that consumer behavior changes observed in the second quarter will be permanent and should favor companies well positioned for online growth, like Magazine Luiza.”

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, physical store sales accounted for about 55% of total sales, BB Investimentos noted. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr Writing by Jamie McGeever Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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