Tuesday , April 20 2021

Financial operations and some venture capital appear on Isidoro Quiroga's horizon after the sale of Australis

A week after the agreement for the sale of Australis Seafoods – reached by Chinese giant Joyvio and company controller Isidoro Quiroga – is already known, there are speculations about the entrepreneur's plans. For 94.5% of the property on the salmon farm, Quiroga receives just over $ 830 million.

Despite the fact that in Inversiones Benjamn, a society of which almost all of Quiroga's activities come to light, there will be no clear definitions, apparently there are lights on this. Next comment that on the horizon will not be, for example, the acquisition of any transaction, because immediately the employer will be dedicated to "do what has been better": the purchase and sale of shares.

Likewise, it is said that he will be looking at venture capital investment to expand ventures, for example, in the technology area. In fact, the businessman himself and his son of the same name attended meetings that visited Silicon Valley in the United States and Tel Aviv as part of missions to capture that kind of contribution.

Quiroga invested in multiple sectors and markets, as shareholder and operator. Destinations such as Ukraine and industries as diverse as real estate, education, agriculture, mining and electricity are in its portfolio.

It transcended, however, that these last two areas will not be among the options being considered. A couple of years ago, Quiroga initiated the return of part of the water rights it owns, due to the high cost associated with paying patents for non-use. In addition, who was also a shareholder of the electricity Pilmaiqun, is renouncing the hydroelectric projects that he promoted through Electro Austral. This is because of the lower profitability that this type of generation has. This was the case of the Achibueno mills – which they resigned in May – and Água Viva, a $ 70 million initiative, which in September received the support of the Committee of Ministers.

In the mining company, where Quiroga participated with operations in Argentina and projects in Chile, there will also be no concrete plans. In fact, Minera Fuego, the company through which it promoted such projects, will not have any active projects yet.

Concern over the attack on Chinese capital

The record number of the contract for the sale of Australis – which surpasses that of the transfer of AquaChile to Agrosuper – shows the industry's recovery after the adjustments applied in 2016. Last year, salmon recorded its highest historical production, with a harvest of 64,819 tons of raw material, which registered revenues of US $ 399.4 million, EBITDA of US $ 123.2 million and a gain of US $ 73.4 million. The company's assets total $ 237 million, all capturing the interest of Chinese Joyvio.

This incursion left the Asian giant's investment in the country in the range of US $ 8 billion, considering the transactions carried out in the last three years. In addition, according to Invest Chile data, US $ 1,503 million associated with 16 projects with different levels of progress, in the sectors of energy, infrastructure, global services and miscellaneous. These figures stand out if one considers that a decade ago the Chinese investment materialized in the country under DL 600 was only US $ 85 million.

"Interest is transverse, in general, the most emblematic or striking operations are discussed, but there are cases such as Mobike and its bicycles, the expansion of the Eastern Mandarn hotel chain, Huawei's project to connect with a Chile and China cable, in addition Austral Fiber Optics, the interest of a Chinese consortium to build a Santiago-Valparaiso train, renewable energy projects, commercial chains, infrastructure, etc. This week I meet with China's Global Vice President ThreeGorges to comment on their current and future investments in the country, "explains InvestChile director Cristin Rodrguez.

However, in some sectors, this violent Chinese investment is of some concern, particularly in the midst of the commercial war that this country faces with the United States, Chile's two main trading partners.

In this regard, Rodrguez says that so far he has not noticed any reaction and says we should put Chinese investment in perspective. "We have meetings and contacts with about 100 companies this year, I think we will continue to have good news from China, but there is still a long way to go before the Chinese companies' investment position is predominant in the country," he says.

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