(Bloomberg) -- After a recent shopping spree that saw Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim SA make investments in toll roads to healthcare and renewable energy, infrastructure and sanitation are areas the firm is watching for potential deals, according to its chief executive officer.

The group’s recent acquisitions were focused on balancing its portfolio to reduce cyclical risks and diversify into new industries and geographies. A lot of the pre-existing assets were closely tied to commodities prices. 

“Votorantim is an investment firm and will keep looking for opportunities,” CEO Joao Schmidt said in an interview. “Infrastructure is still super interesting. And sanitation is an opportunity within the sector.”

Still, the majority of capital will be invested in portfolio companies to drive growth, he said. 

The holding company, which is owned by the billionaire Ermirio de Moraes family, reported 48.5 billion reais ($9.6 billion) in net revenue last year with a profit of 1.8 billion reais. While annual profit declined from 5.5 billion reais a year earlier, the diversification strategy helped soften the impact of cost and price pressures from the group’s zinc and aluminum units, Chief Financial Officer Sergio Malacrida said in the interview.

Since 2021 the Sao Paulo-based holding known for investments in cement, mining, and orange juice bought stakes in companies including pharmaceutical manufacturer Hypera SA and infrastructure firm CCR SA, and Auren SA, a renewable energy joint venture with CPP Investments.  

The group also invested in a remote education and credit firm through 23S, a joint venture with Singapore’s Temasek. 

The sanitation industry in Brazil is going through a transformation as states, municipalities and cities privatize large swathes of their operations. The biggest one is expected to take place soon when Sao Paulo sells a stake in Sabesp, which serves the megacity. 

Schmidt declined to comment on whether Votorantim will take part in that process.

Outside of Brazil, Votorantim’s cement unit acquired assets in Spain and North America. The group also opened an office in New York and after making a first investment in residential real estate in Chicago, continues to look for opportunities in multifamily housing and industrial properties in the US.

The holding, which is not publicly traded, has an investment grade rating from the three largest agencies. Its debt level stands at 1.8 times earnings before items and it has 5.5 billion reais of cash on hand, according to Malacrida. 

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