Singapore’s GIC buys nine Brazilian Carrefours

Philippines, CEBU — Singapore’s state investor GIC stated that it will work with Barzel Properties to buy nine Carrefour properties in Brazil and Riverfront Residences in Singapore for 1.2 billion Brazilian reals, or about $241 million.

Five storage centers and four retail shops owned by Carrefour Brazil Group, the Riverfront Residences Floor Plan of Carrefour Group, one of the biggest retail chains in the world, were sold and then leased back to them for 20 years.

Barzel Buildings is a company that takes care of and builds Class A buildings in Brazil. The company will keep getting money from the homes through a rental deal that will be changed every year to keep up with inflation.

Carrefour Brazil Group is Brazil’s biggest chain of grocery stores. It started a license plan for convenience shops in the country in June, hoping to use what it had learned over many years in Europe.

“GIC is confident in the portfolio’s long-term potential in Brazil,” said Lee Kok Sun, GIC’s chief investment officer for real estate. “This is shown by the stores’ strong operational performance and the warehouses’ strategic locations in major logistics markets.”

Adam Gallistel, the head of GIC’s Americas Real Estate division, said that the deal shows that Singapore’s state investor has faith in high-quality assets backed by companies with good credit ratings.

Gallistel said, “In Brazil, we are always looking for sale-leaseback opportunities backed by long-term contracts and companies with strong and growing businesses, like Carrefour Brazil Group.”

Nessim Daniel Sarfati, the CEO of Barzel Properties, was also optimistic about the possibility of the new properties. He said that the key sites and proven track record of Carrefour Brazil Group will provide a steady stream of rent income.

This is not the first time GIC has done business in Brazil with Carrefour. In 2015, a group of investors led by GIC and the Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz raised their stake in Carrefour’s operations in Brazil from 10% to 12%.

GIC has done similar deals in Brazil. The nation launched an office in 2014 to concentrate on Latin American investment.

GIC, local investors, and former Cyrela boss Nessim Sarfati formed Barzel Buildings to buy 17 buildings from Brazilian retailer GPA for $234 million last year.

A Banco BTG Pactual private equity firm that operates Brazilian fiber optic provider V.tal received $421 million from GIC in 2021. It bought an undisclosed minority investment in Brazilian biological agricultural inputs business Biotrop Solucoes Biologicas.

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