Brazilian group Itaú confirmed Tuesday that it is negotiating with Brito family-owned Banco Macro to sell its retail operation in Argentina to leave the country. But this entity is not the only one, nor the first, that opens this process. It joins a long list of multinationals (there are even small companies) that in recent years slammed the door or shrunk their operations locally, or are in the process of selling.
Exactly one year ago, Itaú had announced the closure of Ank, a bet on the fintech segment. It should be noted that for now, the divestment process of the Brazilian entity occurs only in Argentina.
In the last three years, during the entire administration of Alberto Fernández, more than 30 multinationals left or reduced their business in Argentina. To that list are also added smaller firms.
Brazil's Banco Itaú is negotiating the sale of its Argentine subsidiary, Banco Macro. Photo Bloomberg
The Chilean companies that used to be among the main investors at the local level are among those leading the exodus. Parque Arauco, the airline Latam -which left the cabotage business-, Falabella -which closed its premises- and Masisa -sold its forestry assets- are some of those that left.
Among the last to leave is Britain's Rurelec. Last month it announced the sale of its stake in the Patagonia Thermal Power Plant, owned by Energía del Sur. The company had long sought to leave the country.
In March, another company that announced its exit was the popular Edding, which sold its Argentine subsidiary for a symbolic value of US $ 1. The German marker company left the management of its brand to the importer of Stanley thermoses.
To cite another case of the closest, Dr Martens, the iconic shoe brand of English origin, earlier this year confirmed its closure. Putting as main complication to continue in this market: the obstacles to importation. He dismantled the four premises he had in the country and left.
Others who are no longer there: the airline Norwegian; the oil companies Sinopec and Petrobras; Walmart supermarket; the Axalta and PPG auto parts. The pharmaceutical companies Hepatalgina, Pierre Fabre, Gerresheimer and Eli Lilly. And the sports brand Under Armour.
The Nike LeBron 12 has the number 23 on one side. Photo: Nike.
Joining the list is delivery company Glovo, which sold its Latin American operations to Delivery Hero, the owner of PedidosYa. And the mass products company: Alicorp.
Itaú wasn't the only bank in Brazil to leave, Bradesco did.
Among those who left their brands in the hands of third parties are: Nike, Asics, Edding or Shell.
The lack of credit, the restrictions to operate, an inflationary economy and in crisis; Added to the lack of predictability, change in the rules of the game and weak legal certainty are some of the reasons given by companies leaving. The political uncertainty in the face of the elections next October, completes the combo.
Delivery firm Glovo left the country in September 2020.REUTERS/Jon Nazca
Downsized or sold some business unit
In the case of BASF, it is still in the local market, but moved part of its production of automotive paints to Sao Bernardo do Campo in Brazil. The company's plant in Tortuguitas, province of Buenos Aires, continues its activities related to the automotive paint and refinish business, and chemicals for personal and home care.
The company specialized in marketing and distribution of liquefied gas and oil, Raizen Gas, sold its shares to Italgas, a company from Rosario. Raizen (Shell) continues to operate in the country in other areas of the business.
French auto parts company Saint Gobain Sekurit moved part of its local operation to Brazil. It still retains its plant in the town of Campana, in the province of Buenos Aires. Its Tortuguitas plant is still operating.
Enel is in the process of being sold
In the process of sale
As well as the Itaú bank, there are other companies in the process of being sold, such as the Italian state energy company Enel (parent of Edesur). Enel seeks to divest itself of Edesur. It has already sold its generation business to Central Puerto and YPF Luz.