(Equity International) March 28, 2012 – Equity International (EI), the privately held investor and builder of world-class companies outside of the United States, announced today the acquisition of an equity interest in Grupo Thá, a leading regional homebuilder based in Curitiba, Brazil.
A fourth-generation family owned business, Grupo Thá is a recognized brand across southern Brazil. The Company’s primary business is homebuilding, which is focused on the development of middle and upper-middle income residential projects in Paraná and Santa Catarina states with operations in Curitiba, Camboriú/Itajaí and Joinville. Grupo Thá has two additional operating units:a national construction services platform that builds residential and commercial properties across Brazil primarily for third parties, and a residential real estate brokerage that provides marketing and sales services for the Company and third parties. In total, Grupo Thá has built and developed more than 2,000 projects comprising over 64 million square feet across a wide range of property types including residential, commercial, hospitality, retail, industrial, education and health care.
“We are excited to begin the next chapter of homebuilding investment in Brazil. The regions of Brazil are vast and varied, further characterized by high growth and barriers to entry,” said Gary Garrabrant, chief executive officer of Equity International. “The Thá Family has built a singular brand and reputation in southern Brazil and we are thrilled to join Grupo Thá as a significant shareholder. We look forward to working with Thá’s highly capable management team to realize the full potential of the Company’s homebuilding and construction services businesses.”
The Brazilian homebuilding sector remains attractive with a housing deficit of approximately 6 million units. This housing deficit, together with an increasingly populous and prosperous consumer class – since 2003, 40 million people in Brazil entered the middle class – is expected to fuel an increase in demand for housing for the foreseeable future. The South Region of Brazil holds particular appeal due to its strong industrial and broader economic base that includes a highly educated population with high levels of disposable income. Grupo Thá has a substantial, well-located land bank in key cities across southern Brazil which, along with its integrated real estate platform, positions it well to capitalize on this opportunity.
“We are honored to have EI as a strategic partner in Grupo Thá,” said Sandro Westphal, chief executive officer of Grupo Thá. “Equity International is recognized as a global investor with extensive experience in the homebuilding sector throughout Latin America, making them an ideal partner to help us grow and institutionalize our Company.” Grupo Thá is led by Mr. Westphal and Arsenio de Almeida Neto, chief operating officer.
Mr. Garrabrant and Vijay Jayaraman, EI’s senior vice president of investments, will join the Company’s Board of Directors, which also includes Claudio Tolentino, Meritum Consultores Associados, representing the Thá Family.
About Equity International
Equity International (EI) invests in and builds world-class companies outside the United States with a particular focus on identifying and initiating high-growth sectors in the most compelling emerging and frontier markets. Founded in 1999 by Sam Zell and Gary Garrabrant, EI is recognized as a leading international investor and partner of choice, distinguished by an outstanding reputation, global capability and industry-leading portfolio companies. EI has raised over $2 billion and invested in 23 portfolio companies to-date across 14 countries. For more information, please visit www.equityinternational.com.