Actis in Brazilian supermarket sweep

The $58m investment in Brazilian supermarket chain operator CSD marks Actis’ first Latin American acquisition since spinning out from CDC Capital.

Emerging markets investor Actis has made its first investment in Brazil: the purchase of a “significant” minority stake in Brazilian Supermarket chain operator Companhia Sulamericana de Distribuição (‘CSD’) for $58 million.

CSD owns two Brazilian supermarket chains, São Francisco and Cidade Canção, and now plans to open new stores in three Brazilian states, according to a statement from Actis.

Chairman of CSD Jefferson Nogaroli cited Actis’ experience both in emerging markets and the retail food sector as essential factors in CSD’s decision to partner with them.

Other Actis retail food sector investments include a 65 percent stake in Indian grocery store chain Nilgiri’s Group.

The deal was made from the Actis Emerging Markets III fund, which closed on $2.9 billion in November 2008. Recent investments from the fund include Commercial International Bank and card processor MSCC, both based in Cairo.

A spokesperson for Actis commented that the deal was in the pipeline for about a year, during which Actis was having discussions with the founding families of CSD supermarket chains São Francisco and Cidade Canção. “We look at it like a marriage,” she said.