3rd March, 2019
Canadian asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc is looking for additional targets in Brazil after a recent wave of acquisitions, including São Paulo state water and waste management company Sabesp, a source familiar with the plans said. Having been founded in 1899 as the São Paulo Tramway, Light and Power Company, Brookfield has a long history in Brazil.
São Paulo’s government, which took office in January, wants to privatise several companies to raise some R$3 billion (US$794 million). Among the targeted divestments is its controlling stake in Sabesp, one of the world’s largest water and waste management companies serving 28 million people. “Brookfield is looking at it. It depends on the privatisation modeling and price,” said the source, who asked not to be named because discussions were private.
Brookfield and its subsidiaries have made nearly a dozen major acquisitions in Brazil since 2013. The companies have spent about US$10 billion on energy, infrastructure and real estate assets during the country’s deepest recession. The source said an eventual deal related to Sabesp is subject to a new legal framework for the sanitation sector which is being discussed in Congress.
Oil refining is another area the Canadian company is evaluating as state-controlled oil company Petrobras seeks to attract partners in that business, the source added.
Brookfield and partners paid US$5.2 billion in 2016 for a controlling stake in Petrobras subsidiary NTS, which operates a network of gas pipelines in Brazil. A possible refining deal would depend on Petrobras’ final proposal for interested investors, the source said.