Panel SA: Tax benefit becomes ‘gold’ in purchase of distributor by Raízen

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Panel SA: Tax benefit becomes ‘gold’ in purchase of distributor by Raízen

Raízen (Shell), the fuel distribution arm of billionaire Rubens Ometto, requested authorization from Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) to buy a small distributor in the Northeast.

The target of the operation is FAN Distribuidora de Petróleo, a network based in Mossoró (RN) with 136 service stations, none of them in capital cities. It is the 14th largest in the sector.

The incorporation of its flag will represent less than 3% growth for Raízen, which operates in the country under the Shell flag.

In the document sent to Cade, obtained by Panel SA, the company states that the business expands its consolidation in the Northeast and will allow the incorporation of tax benefits held by FAN. That is: the business will allow the buyer to pay less tax.

“For Raízen, the operation represents a good opportunity to increase operational capacity in the fuel distribution market in the affected states, both with the use of FAN tax benefits”, says the company in the Concentration Act sent to Cade.

FAN’s tax benefit is the result of a legal dispute with the National Treasury reversed by the STJ, in December 2020, after successive defeats at the first instance.

Until then, all lower courts had denied the company the right to take advantage of PIS and Cofins credits because, as a fuel distributor, it was subject to a (single-phase) tax regime — which would prevent this use.

The turning point occurred because, in 2017, a panel of the STJ set a precedent, which was then followed in a decision taken by the First Panel of the STJ in favor of FAN.

The decision of the STJ became final, that is, there is no further appeal to reverse the understanding of the court.

Through its advisory, Raízen said that it is seeking opportunities and businesses with high development potential in the country, such as the recent formation of the joint venture with the distributor Simarelli (Midwest), Raízen Mime (south) and Petróleo Sabba (north).

About FAN, the company informs that the deal is still being evaluated by Cade and depends on precedent conditions to be effective. “It is based on the growth strategy in the distribution of fuels and strengthening of the company in the Northeast region, reinforcing the commitment with the supply throughout the Country”, said Raízen in a note.

Julio Wiziack (interim) with Paulo Ricardo Martins and Diego Felix

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