Brazil's BR Home Centers seeks public firm registry, eyes IPO
By Aluísio Alves
SAO PAULO, July 6 (Reuters) - BR Home Centers SA on Monday requested regulatory permission to go public, and will sell shares in the Brazilian construction materials retailer once market conditions improve in Latin America's largest economy.
The Goiania, Brazil-based company, founded in 2010 by the Moraes family, is considering an initial public offering to raise funds for general corporate purposes, a transaction commonly known as a primary offering, Guilherme Aguinaga, BR Home Centers' head of investor relations, said in a phone interview.
Earlier on Monday, the company asked securities industry watchdog CVM for permission to register as a publicly listed company, a step that often precedes issuance of new debt or shares. BR Home Centers is a holding company that was formed after the merger between rivals Tend Tudo, which the Moraes founded in 1987, and Casa Show.
The decision to wait for better times underscores growing caution among shareholders over conditions for IPOs in Brazil, which only a few years ago was among the world's top-five hottest market for stock debutantes. Only two companies managed to list their shares in the São Paulo Stock Exchange over the past year, as investors shunned players with insufficient track record or relatively high valuations.
BR Home Centers runs 25 stores and six warehouses across the country, making it one of the country's top-five construction materials retailers, according to its website.
The decision to go public comes more than a year after speculation mounted that the Moraes were seeking a buyer for the company. Rio de Janeiro-based asset manager Leblon Equities is another partner in the company. (Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Richard Chang)
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