Brazil's Lojas Americanas to buy grocery chain Hortifruti for $400 million

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian retailer Lojas Americanas SA said on Wednesday it had agreed to acquire grocery chain Hortifruti Natural da Terra for 2.1 billion reais ($402 million), in a strategic move into the fresh foods sector.

Hortifruti offers fresh produce through 73 stores in four Brazilian states, generating 2 billion reais in unaudited gross revenue in the year ended June 30, according to a securities filing by Lojas Americanas on the deal.

Americanas, controlled by the founders of investment holding 3G Capital led by Jorge Paulo Lemann, already has a large e-commerce operation it has decided to integrate in April.

Hortifruti, controlled by Swiss private equity firm Partners Group AG, will be sold for nine times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a common operational profit gauge.

Hortifruti in April filed plans to go public with Brazilian securities industry watchdog CVM.

($1 = 5.2187 reais)

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