Zapala Corporation, is the Sydney-based company logistics, human resources, and international education services provider, is keen on growing via acquisitions in its aforementioned core businesses areas, owner and CEO Carlos Ferri said.
The company, which owns Zapala Go, Zapala People and World Study, has no plans at the moment to retain financial advisors for its acquisitive strategy, Ferri told this news service in the framework of the Brazilian Showcase 2017, organised by the Brazilian consulate.
Zapala Corporation is keen on growth through acquisitions in any of the three sectors that the holding company provides services to in the next 12 to 24 months, he noted. Recently, it acquired a 25% stake in an unnamed software company in fleet management and maintenance space in Australia, which will complement Zapala Go, Ferri noted.
The CEO said the company will have a clearer idea about what options are open to Zapala Corporation regarding acquisitions once its financial results are out in the following months “We will look at companies that are doing things better than we are, he added.
Since its inception in 2011, the company has financed its growth with cash flow and has no bank debt to date, Ferri noted. The company could continue to fund small- and medium-sized business acquisitions by the same way, he added. Zapala Corporation is also interested in expanding its three businesses overseas within the next 12 to 24 months, he said.
Until now, World Study is the only company of the group that has expanded its educational business to South America. The agency that offers exchange programs to international students in Australia was established last year. It opened offices in Sydney and Perth and other three offices across Sao Paulo estate, in Brazil According to Ferri, World Study could continue expanding its educational business in South America and “the next market” could be Colombia, due to is the second bigger country in that region that sends more students to Australia after Brazil.
In the case of Zapala Go, it could grow in Asia, Europe or North America, considering that it works with “bigger customers” from these markets, he noted. However, the holding company has not yet decided which will be the next markets of entry and how it will grow there, Ferri said, adding that the company will make that decision in the following months.
According to the CEO, Zapala Corporation would also consider a merger with a larger company in the logistics space, such as Toll Group and Linfox, which may be interested in a software company such as Zapala Go. Zapala Go, which operates in the removal, relocation and storage industries, could be an attractive target because it has an integrated digital system in the logistics space that larger companies have not well developed yet, he added.
Through a platform of Zapala Go, local and international companies can obtain detailed, real-time information on the exact status and location of their consignments while in transit or storage, as well as an easily accessible inventory of the goods being moved, he explained. It works with “the second and the third largest logistic corporations that are doing relocation in theworld,” he commented.
Another “ideal” merger target could be a larger company in the recruitment space that could be interested in its training and staff on demand company Zapala People, which is “the biggest business of Zapala Corporation”, he noted. Zapala People is focused on labour hire in Australia for industries, such as logistics, construction and recently hospitality. Zapala Corporation generated about AUD 20m (USD 15m) in revenue in 2016, according to the CEO. It forecasts 20% to 30% of growth in the next 12 months, which has been the level of growth that it has had over the past years. It has its headquarters in Sydney and employs about 100 people in Australia and another 20 in Brazil.
It was founded by Ferri, who is the sole owner of the holding. He said that Zapala Go has another four owners, including Australian high-net-worth investors (HIN) and venture capital firms (VC), but he owns an 85% stake in this company.