(Press Release) Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global investors dedicated solely to private equity, today announced that it has agreed to make a significant equity investment in Cataratas do Iguaçu S.A. Advent will work closely with the company’s current shareholders, all of whom will retain ownership in the business, to improve Cataratas’s services and operations and expand into additional parks and tourism-related businesses in Brazil. The investment, which is subject to certain closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2014. Terms were not disclosed.
“Advent’s local presence and worldwide expertise in tourism-oriented retail, food and beverage, concessions and leisure businesses will enhance Cataratas’s ability to provide memorable experiences to the millions of people who visit the national parks where we have operations,” said Rafael Gluck, a member of Cataratas’s Board of Directors.
Cataratas provides ticketing services, transportation, parking facilities, retail stores, food and beverage and other services at Iguaçu National Park in the south of Brazil, featuring Iguaçu Falls, one of the world’s largest waterfalls; and the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, a national park in the northeast of Brazil. Both parks have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. The company also holds equity interests in the Paineiras-Corcovado Concession in Rio de Janeiro’s Tijuca National Park, one of the world’s largest urban forests, featuring the famous Corcovado statue (“Christ the Redeemer”); and AquaRio S. A., a company contracted to service the planned aquarium in Rio’s retrofitted port area.
Cataratas’s growth strategy is focused on improving and increasing its services in the parks where it currently operates and expanding into additional parks and tourism-related businesses throughout Brazil. The company’s existing owners, who will remain shareholders in the business with Advent, include Brazilian firms Soifer, Tucumann, Pattac, Dines, Varese, Vercelli and FSX.
“We are excited to partner with Cataratas and its current owners to help improve the visiting experience at Brazil’s national parks, which include some of the most recognizable destinations in the world,” said Patrice Etlin, a Managing Partner at Advent International in São Paulo. “The Brazilian sustainability tourism industry continues to grow, and we are ready to apply our resources and expertise to assist the Cataratas team.”
Advent has been active in Latin America since 1996 and in Brazil since 1997. During that time, the firm has invested in over 50 Latin American companies, including 18 in Brazil. Its current Brazilian portfolio includes United Medical, Dudalina, Terminal de Contêineres de Paranaguá (TCP), Quero-Quero and International Meal Company (IMC). Advent’s most recent realized investments in Brazil include Atmosfera, Kroton Educacional, Cetip and Paraná Banco. Advent also has experience in tourism-oriented retail, including previous investments in global travel retailer Dufry and Brasif Duty Free of Brazil, and park operations, including a prior investment in Parques Reunidos (Spain).