(Stratus Group) November 8, 2011 – Stratus Group, the leading Brazilian private equity firm focused on mid-market investments, announced that it has made a US$32 million investment to take a majority stake in Brazilian corporate fleet management company, Maestro. The equity transaction was also financed by a co-investment from DEG –the German Development Financial Institution – and represents the first transaction of the Stratus Capital Partners program, which has recently been launched to follow the successful flagship fund, Stratus Growth Capital I.
The car rental sector in Brazil grew by 17% in 2010 to US$3.1 billion, and has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 11% since 2003, according to the ABLA, the Brazilian Car Rental Association.
Commenting on the investment, Alberto Camões, Founder and Partner of Stratus, said, “As automobile penetration grows in Brazil, we identified corporate fleet management as the more scalable business model within the car rental sector. Maestro, with its demonstrated record of growth and excellent customer service is the ideal company for our investment into this burgeoning sector. The company boasts a lean business model and is prudently leveraged, ensuring that our capital injection is used for growth instead of paying down debt.”
Founded in 2007, Maestro currently operates a fleet of around 2,400 vehicles and focuses on the high growth, high margin, corporate fleet management market. The company expects to increase EBITDA by 80% in 2011 in comparison to 2010.
Stratus Group’s investment supports the continued growth of the corporate fleet management company by reinforcing the management team and by funding the opening of new locations in the short term.
“Since it was founded, Maestro has posted elevated growth and we look forward to continuing that trajectory. A partnership with a private equity group like Stratus brings more than just financial firepower, it also brings best practice in corporate governance and board level expertise to ensure our controlled and strategic growth.,” added Fabio Lewkowicz, Founder of Maestro, who will continue in his role as CEO.
“DEG is pleased to provide equity financing to a competitive and experienced player in the corporate fleet management sector. DEG looks forward to working with Stratus to support the company’s continued growth, improve corporate governance standards, and promote international environmental and social standards at both the company and in the sector chain.” said Fernando Nascimento – who now represents DEG in the company board of directors.
To read the press release in Portuguese, click here.