I Squared Targets Logistics, Energy in Brazil

Por Taís Hirata — São Paulo

Investment manager I Squared Capital—which manages $40 billion in infrastructure assets globally—opened its São Paulo office four months ago and is planning its first steps in the country. According to Sadek Wahba, the firm’s chairman and managing partner, it would not be surprising to see investments in Brazil reach $5 billion over the next few years. “The key elements we look for when we invest in a country are a solid rule of law, a clear regulatory framework, a system that encourages foreign direct investment, an export-oriented economy that at the same time seeks to increase its productivity, and social and economic stability. And the truth is that we have all these elements in Brazil. This is very encouraging for us,” said the global executive, who spoke to Valor during his visit to São Paulo last week.

“Brazil has had relatively slow economic growth, but from our perspective, there is great potential for the next five, ten years in terms of economic growth and the investments needed to increase the country’s productivity,” Mr. Wahba said.

The company is headquartered in Miami, with offices in London, New Delhi, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, and São Paulo. It has investments in 71 countries on all continents. Globally, the group’s businesses include transportation, energy, basic sanitation, and digital and social infrastructure. In Brazil, all segments could be targets for investment, but the initial focus will be on digital infrastructure, energy, and logistics, said Gautam Bhandari, managing partner of the company. “We really like the renewable energy sector. The digital transformation business also has a long way to go, with the expansion of the fiber optic network and data centers. Brazil is also a huge exporter. So, the logistics sector, which includes warehousing and ports, is interesting,” he said.