Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) was rumored earlier this year to be in the market for a prominent Brazilian retailer’s e-commerce business, but those talks were downplayed and dismissed. However, it seems that at least one part of the rumor – that a Brazilian retailer was putting the e-commerce business on the market for sale – is now confirmed publicly. And there is little secret that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has expressed serious interest in getting into the Brazilian market, which as 200 million people and a potential $12 billion annual e-commerce market.
Could this be the time that the marriage happens, thanks to Saraiva?
Saraiva, a Brazilian retailer, has indicated interest in selling its online e-commerce business, with special focus on its e-books that have generated about $250,000 in revenue per year. Saraiva has much higher margins with its brick-and-mortar retail stores, so though Brazil is a burgeoning online marketplace despite limited Internet access (though getting better). Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) may likely see Saraiva’s e-commerce unit as an opportunity to break into the regulated online market in Brazil, especially as it is looking to introduce its Kindle e-reader to the market in the coming weeks and months. With taxation, logistical and regulatory issues that are unique in Brazil, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) could be well-served to break into the marketplace through an already existing e-commerce channel.
“Why would this be interesting for Amazon? Amazon’s main challenge will initially be overcoming the obstacle of the publishing companies. By buying Saraiva it shortens that distance dramatically,” said an anonymous industry executive.
A second executive said, “(Saraiva’s) assets in terms of relationships with publishers and distributors could be important for Amazon.”
That might be true. Would the money to buy Saraiva’s e-commerce portal be a better investment than Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) trying to develop its own organic presence? Have investors already accounted the prior rumor in the stock price, and how would this figure into the stock price moving forward should this deal go through? How might investors like billionaire fund manager Jim Chanos of Kynikos approach this news for the future fortunes of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) as it moves into the growing South American market?