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Ancar sees a gap after its rivals' merger

When shopping centre companies Ancar Ivanhoe and BR Malls began negotiating an agreement in February, the market started to consider the possibility of Ancar taking a new business direction.

Discreet in its operations and privately held, Ancar planned a partial merger with BR Malls, something that would bring the group a greater degree of visibility. The conversation ended up not working out, partly because it was a complex corporate transaction with different partners in various assets. Aliansce would have accelerated the negotiation with BR Malls at the risk of having its business crossed over by any other competitor. Shareholders approved the agreement between Aliansce and BR Malls at the beginning of June, and the case is under analysis by Cade, the antitrust body.

At least, so far, without a more robust merger project on the table, Ancar is farther away from the combined company between Aliansce and BR Malls. The group, founded by the Carvalho family, has 25 ventures (16 as a partner and the rest under its management), and its 4,500 shopkeepers sell R$ 17 billion a year. Annual synergies of R$ 210 million are estimated and a scale that involves contracts with more than 13 thousand stores. In the lead, Aliansce and BR Malls have 69 malls in their portfolio and R$ 38 billion in sales per year.

When commenting on these latest moves for the first time, Marcelo Carvalho, from the second generation of the founding family, talks about the difficulties that competitors will have after the merger and disagrees with the perception that Ancar has been slow to articulate in the market. Ancar and BR Malls even attempted a partial merger agreement at the end of 2020, as they publicly admitted at the time, but there was no progress on the assets that would form this new company, says a source. A year later, Aliansce took the lead and decided to make the offer to BR Malls.

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