CVS Eye’s Brazil
CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS – $78.24) recently held talks with Brazil’s second largest drugstore chain Drogarias Pacheco Sao Paulo. Known as DPSP, the Brazilian chain has 843 stores and the equivalent of $2.44 billion in net revenue in 2013. CVS offered around $2 billion for the group, but DPSP rejected that offer seeking $2.7 billion, according to sources close to the situation. It is unclear whether negotiations will progress. In February of last year, CVS bought an 80% stake in Brazil’s then eighth largest drugstore chain Drogaria Onofre with 46-stores, for about $300 million. A 2011 merger between Drogasil and Raia created Raia Drogasil, now Brazil’s No. 1 chain. That same year, Pacheco and Drogaria Sao Paulo joined to become DPSP, the second- largest chain. Brazil’s market in this area is growing fast with sales of hygiene and beauty products expanding by 15% a year, or three times the global average, according to PwC Brazil. In 2012, rival Walgreens took a 45% stake in Europe’s Alliance Boots, also looking to expand beyond the well-saturated domestic drugstore market. Shares of Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark are at record-highs, and further upside to match the 31% gain over the past twelve months will be difficult to come by. Nonetheless, I believe the company is a suitable holding for the risk-averse investor over the next few years.