SAO PAULO/NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) - Península Participações Ltda, the investment holding company controlled by Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz’s family, has increased the amount of shares it owns in Carrefour SA just weeks after the French retailer nominated the tycoon to take a board seat.
In a statement released on Wednesday, São Paulo-based Península said it concluded the acquisition of an additional 2.98 percent stake in Carrefour, through a web of unnamed controlled entities.
The move brings the stake that the Diniz family owns in Carrefour to a total 8.05 percent, it said. “This investment is in line with the long-term strategy followed by Península, and reflects the belief in Carrefour’s growth potential.”
Península oversees more than 10 billion reais ($2.8 billion) in assets.
Before this new increase, Diniz was already the French retailer’s fourth-biggest shareholder. Diniz and his family, who bought a stake in Carrefour’s Brazilian unit more than a year ago, said on March 18 that they were reviewing their earlier decision to maintain their stake unchanged.
The Carrefour Brazil deal was sealed late in December 2014, and marked Diniz’s return to retailing. Diniz is the eldest son of the founder of GPA SA, Carrefour’s arch rival in Brazil.
In 2011, Diniz fell out with Casino Guichard Perrachon & Cie , his then-partner at GPA, after he secretly sought to broker a merger with Carrefour. The deal ultimately fell through, allowing Casino to take a majority stake in GPA.
($1 = 3.6345 Brazilian reais)
Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal in Sao Paulo and Tatiana Bautzer in New York; Editing by Kieran Murray