The Federal Government decided to auction 100% of Correios’ assets and liabilities as part of the service’s privatization process. A single buyer will be chosen in a tender scheduled for March 2022 and Anatel will be in charge of the agency that regulates postal services. The Chamber of Deputies advanced the vote to before the parliamentary recess, and the proposal should be discussed next week.
Government to auction Correios in March 2022
The Ministry of Economy decided to sell 100% of the Post Office. The information was provided by the special secretary of Privatization, Divestment and Market of the folder, Diogo Mac Cord.
In an interview with Globe, Mac Cord said he plans to sell the state-owned company to a single buyer in a traditional auction format. As the secretary himself defines, in a model “with opening envelopes”.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Arthur Lira (PP-AL) scheduled the vote on the bill for next week, before Parliament enters the July recess.
The privatization of Correios will take place in a model different from the agreement foreseen for other state-owned companies, such as Eletrobrás, the government’s electricity holding company. These companies must make their capital mixed: the Union is no longer the sole controller of the company, and shares partnerships with private companies, remaining the majority shareholder.
The Provisional Measure that approved the privatization of Eletrobrás was already approved by the Chamber last month. It was an important step towards the privatization agenda of the Bolsonaro government, which speeds up the Postal Service’s vote to comply with the schedule and auction the company in March.
Project foresees dissolution of Anatel and creation of Anacom
To guarantee service to the postal correspondence sector, Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) will be renamed Anacom (National Communication Agency).
“The company is going to take the whole of Brazil. We even evaluated slicing by region, but we understand that to guarantee universalization it is necessary to have cross-subsidy within the company itself”, said Mac Cord to Globe.
Last year, Minister Fábio Faria, from the Ministry of Communications, filed the bill to privatize the Correios. BNDES (National Sustainable Development Bank) started business modeling studies in partnership with the private consultancy Accenture to pave the ground for privatization until the auction.
The government depends on the BNDES notice, which must assess the state-owned company’s accounts in a more detailed way, to establish a value for privatization. The secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Mac Cord, says that it is necessary to vote on Fábio Faria’s proposal before the recess, so that the notice is ready by December 2021.
Along with the privatization of Correios, the government will grant a concession for postal services. The Constitution determines that the Union must maintain “the postal service and national air mail”. Therefore, Anacom — former Anatel, according to the PL — would prepare regulations for the company that buys the state-owned company, in which it would establish delivery times, tariffs and other requirements.
“We are going to privatize the Correios, combining it with a concession. The Constitution says that it is up to the Union to guarantee the postal service, and this can be done by concession. How do we guarantee? Regulating. It is much more efficient than direct provision”, said the special secretary.
As foreseen in the bill, the Ministry of Communications itself will be in charge of improving postal services even after the purchase of Correios.
Correios closed 2020 in the green, but sales fell
In 2020, Correios closed the accounts in the green for the 4th consecutive time — the annual profit soared 1,400%, to R$ 1.53 billion. Despite the high, the state’s revenue ended the year stagnant, with a gain of only 1% in operating profit.
The COVID-19 pandemic contributes to a 9% increase in online shopping deliveries. According to Correios: “international revenues, obtained through services provided to other Correios worldwide, surpassed the milestone of R$ 1.2 billion, never before registered in the company’s results scenario”.
However, the Special Secretary for Privatization, Divestment and Market at the Ministry of Economy says that the BNDES found that the company had a 6% drop in sales in 2020, has low productivity and competitiveness, and lacks its own technology.
The government has doubts about the state’s self-sufficiency and future investment capacity. It would need to pay investments of R$ 2 billion per year to reach the competitors — at the moment, it only applies 15% of this amount annually.
With information: The globe and Ministry of Communication