Pulso PM

It was in 2016 when Petrobras, after 8 years of activity in the country and after having acquired Esso Chile, agreed to sell its assets to Southern Cross for 470 million dollars. Since then, the company – renamed Esmax – has only grown.

But now the private equity firm led by Raul Sotomayor and Norberto Morita, issued a sell mandate to Bank of America (BofA) for this, and in fact two investment banks consulted assure that Esmax has been in the market since last week.

Non-binding offers should arrive at the end of July.

Southern Cross controlled La Polar, Essbio, Chilesat and GasAtacama, among others, in Chile, and today holds interests in companies in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, in fields such as telecommunications, transport, the sale retail and energy. Since its inception, the company has raised funds of some US$2.9 billion.

Esmax currently states that it is licensed in Chile for the Petrobras, Spacio1, Lubrax and Chevron brands, and that it is the third largest fuel distributor in the country, with nearly 300 service stations and 129 Spacio1 convenience stores, in cities and highways. from Arica to Tierra del Fuego.

In addition, it has 11 fuel distribution terminals throughout the national territory and 11 operations in the main airports.

At the end of last year, its EBITDA reached $83,448 million and achieved profits of $37,457 million, 170% higher than in 2020, “thanks to the 41% growth in fuel sales, 39% in stores and 26% in lubricants. It is important to highlight that in 2021, ESMAX reached records by selling more than 2 million m3 of fuel and 104,000 million dollars per year in our Spacio1 stores”, declared Juan Junet, president of the firm, in its letter to shareholders.

In the market, they estimate that if the sale is made within normal parameters, i.e. between 10 and 12 times EBITDA, the price should be at least 834 billion dollars – more than 900 million of dollars-.

The company had already tested the market’s appetite last year, when it placed bonds for $81 million in the country with a duration of 9.5 years, at a rate of UF+2.45, which which meant a spread of 220 basis points.

If last year the company doubled its profits, so far this year it continues to grow. In March, EBITDA reached 30,731 million dollars, a figure 57% higher than the result recorded during the first quarter of 2021, corresponding to 19,590 million dollars.

In his reasoned analysis, he explained that the variation is explained by the increase in the volumes of activity and fuel sales during the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year; sales growth in the convenience store segment, and the positive effect on the margin due to the revaluation of inventories given the increase in fuel prices at the international level.

“It is important to mention that the results for the period can also be explained by the international context and the impact that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia had on the fuel market, which caused a shortage in the supply of products and a sustained increase in prices at the global level, which at the local level translated into an increase in the import parity prices defined by the ENAP (National Oil Company) and the activation of the MEPCO1 (Fuel Price Stabilization Mechanism),” he said in his pitch.

With that, profits for the first three months of the year reached 14,071 million dollars, a figure that compares positively with the loss of 10,048 million dollars obtained in the same period of the previous year.

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