Wednesday, April 14, 2021

D’Or’s message about Qualicorp: the shareholder who rules is me

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What is behind the recent investment by Rede D’Or on Qualicorp? Only in February did the hospital giant expand its share in the benefits manager from 15% to 22.4%, with an investment of around R $ 600 million. The move surprised the market.

An executive close to the company revealed to the EXAME IN that Rede D’Or’s objective, valued at no less than R $ 135 billion at B3, is to send the market a clear message that it will continue to be the reference shareholder in Qualicorp. In recent months, other investors, especially the fund Homeland, had been expanding their participation in the company. Opportunity it also set up a relevant position, of the order of 6%.

The asset manager, one of the most traditional in the country, acquired a 5% share in December and at the beginning of the year it doubled to 10%. With that, it was very close to the 13.5% that Rede D’Or had until the end of last year. Now, the Moll family has opened a space of advantage, but that does not mean that the purchases are finished. Everything indicates that there is room for more. Anyway, according to people close to the subject, there are no plans to form a majority position, that is, above 50%.

But, if they wanted Qualicorp’s statute, it does not offer any resistance to anyone who wants to set up relevant interests in the business.

Rede D’Or started buying Qualicorp shares in 2019, through an agreement with the then founder and ex-president José Seripiei Filho, Júnior, and appointed two of the company’s main executives to run the operation – both also had passages through Qualicorp.

Bruno Blatt, ex-D’Or Consultoria, is the chief executive and Heráclito Gomes, who was president of Rede D’Or and Qualicorp, took over the leadership of the board. Júnior sold everything he had for some time and money is no problem for the company, which raised R $ 8.4 billion reais in a share offering at the end of 2020.

THE EXAME IN found that Rede D’Or sees great growth potential in Qualicorp, one of the largest customers of health plans and operators such as Intermédica, Hapvida, Bradesco and Sulamérica. All agreements must continue. The strategy is to keep the business completely apart from D’Or, the largest hospital operator in the country, focused on classes A and B.

The company should remain focused on this audience, with acquisitions and organic growth throughout Brazil, in cities such as Salvador, Aracaju, Campinas, Guarulhos and Santos. The focus is on plans that charge from R $ 200 to their customers. Hapvida and Intermédica, which announced a merger of R $ 115 billion this weekend, target customers of classes B and C, and in theory do not compete directly with D’Or.

But changes in the heated Brazilian healthcare market could put the two largest companies in the sector on a more direct collision course in the future. The market is so heated that three hospital chains have already requested registration for future openings: Matter Dei, Kora Saúde and Hospital Care. And last week, LTS Investimentos (from the Lemann, Telles and Sicupira trio) and Randal Zanetti, creator of Odontoprev, announced a deal worth 200 million reais joining hospital management companies to 3778, which specializes in data.

The health market will continue to transform, and it is likely to gain a great momentum with a more consistent resumption of economic growth. This would cause the lake of 47 million private plan customers to grow, and more people and companies to search for more expensive plans within it. In this context, Qualicorp is a weapon of D’Or to take advantage of the expansion of the market in a niche in which it does not operate.

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