Açotubo takes control of Peru’s SPG

Açotubo, the group founded by the Bassi family that owns one of the largest steel and pipe distributors in Brazil, is moving forward with its internationalization plans and evaluating new opportunities, including acquisitions, to expand in Latin American. Other large local distributors have also entered the foreign market, but the main difficulty has been competing on price in other countries.The company, which has been present in Peru and Colombia since 2020, has crossed the national border by becoming a partner of Peru’s Systemas de Perforación y Geotecnia (SPG) through Incotep, a group company that supplies metal systems (tie rods) used in anchoring and infrastructure. It will now buy SPG’s stake in the company for R$12 million and take over the entire operation, which is smaller than the Brazilian one."The idea is to go to other countries," said Açotubo’s CEO, Bruno Bassi. With revenues of R$2 billion in 2023, down 15% from the previous year amid falling domestic prices for steel products, the company has increased the investments planned for this year by 34%, to R$47 million from R$35 million, in line with its internationalization strategy. Approximately 80% of the amount to be invested will come from the group’s cash reserves.It has not yet been decided which business model will be used for the international expansion. Açotubo also has a joint venture in industrial pipes with the French company Vallourec, which holds a 75% majority stake in the company. The joint venture produces steel pipes for industry.According to Mr. Bassi, SPG Incotep has taught the group how to operate in another country and how to have a business partner. Founded 50 years ago, Açotubo is a family-owned company. The three founders—brothers Luiz, Ribamar, and Wilson Bassi—have already joined the board of directors, which now has two other independent members, and the second generation, which includes Bruno, is involved in the day-to-day running of the business."Just as we have internationalized this division, Açotubo has a larger portfolio. The idea is to look at these and other locations in Latin America and take that portfolio with us. We want to grow [abroad] with our other products," he said. A decision on the next step in the international market should be made in 2024.According to Mr. Bassi, 2023 was still a good year, despite initial expectations that it would be more positive. In the financial year, Açotubo...

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