Sao Paulo, Brazil and New York, NY – Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group today announced that it has acquired CVC Brasil Operadora e Agência de Viagens S.A. (CVC) from Founder and Chairman Guilherme Paulus. Mr. Paulus will remain Chairman of CVC and will retain a significant minority equity stake in the company. CVC is headquartered in Santo André (SP), Brazil and is the largest tour operator in Latin America. The transaction closed in late December 2009 and included the tour operator and the cruise ship businesses of CVC. The other companies controlled by Mr. Paulus – the airline WebJet, the hotel management company GJP and the advertising agency GP7 – were not included. Carlyle has acquired a 63.6 percent stake in CVC. Additional financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1972 by Mr. Paulus, CVC packages charter and commercial flights, cruises, hotels and receptive services into vacation packages, which it sells to more than two million passengers per year. A broad assortment of tour packages to both domestic and international destinations are sold through more than 400 retail stores, which are mostly franchised, and through approximately 8,000 independent travel agents. CVC has more than 900 employees and generates more than 4,500 indirect jobs.
CVC has benefited from Brazil’s favorable demographics, where the addressable market for tour packages has grown by approximately 25 million people over the past five years. CVC is well positioned to sell its affordable travel packages to Brazilian consumers, particularly given CVC’s ability to offer attractive payment terms and to assist first-time travelers with the nuances of air travel. Valter Patriani, Chief Executive Officer of CVC, said, “Many of Brazil’s consumers are just discovering that vacationing via airplane is an affordable alternative. CVC’s broad product offering and affordable pricing have opened up a new way of life for many consumers.”
In the medium-term, CVC will continue focusing on the Brazilian market, already the 10th largest economy in the world with expected GDP growth of five percent in 2010. Brazil’s tourism sector is expected to benefit from increased travel demand and heavy infrastructure investments as the country prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the long-term, CVC may seek to expand into other South American markets.
Mr. Paulus said, “Carlyle’s financial expertise and global resources will serve the business well. We see a bright future for CVC as we continue to deliver attractively-priced tour packages to a rapidly-growing customer base.”
Fernando Borges, Carlyle Managing Director and Head of Carlyle’s South America Buyouts team, said, “We are pleased to make our first buyout investment in Brazil. CVC is a top company led by a talented CEO, Valter Patriani, and his management team, who have an outstanding track record and a clear strategy for long-term growth. Carlyle’s Brazil team and its New York-based consumer and retail group will support CVC’s continued growth strategy, and we expect that CVC’s valued customers and talented employees will benefit as CVC continues to increase the breadth and value of its industry-leading tour package offerings.”
Sandra Horbach, Carlyle Managing Director and Head of the Consumer & Retail team, said, “CVC is an outstanding business with a superb market position, exceptional brand loyalty and a fast-growing customer base. We are excited to partner with Founder and Chairman Guilherme Paulus to build a world-class brand in a region and sector with tremendous growth prospects.”
CVC was advised by Mattos Filho. The Carlyle Group was advised by Pinheiro Neto, Debevoise & Plimpton and Rothschild.
Equity capital for this transaction will come from Carlyle Partners V (Carlyle’s flagship $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund), Carlyle’s South America Buyout Fund, Mr. Paulus and other co-investors (including RLJ Equity Partners).
About CVC Brasil Operadora e Agência de Viagens S.A: CVC has been a key player in the Brazilian tourism sector for 37 years, having transported more than 15 million passengers to domestic and international destinations. Founded in Santo André (SP), Brazil, the company is the largest tour operator in Latin America. CVC transformed the Brazilian tourism industry by being the first tour operator to charter planes in Brazil, to sell tourism products via the retail channel, to offer customers installment payment plans and to make travel affordable for all consumer segments. Currently, CVC’s distribution network consists of more than 8,000 accredited independent travel agents and more than 400 exclusive stores nationwide. In 2009, CVC sold travel products to more than two million consumers, an increase of 20% over 2008. www.cvc.com.br