Japan´s Softbank sees consolidation in Latam food delivery

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T, a shareholder in some of Latin America's largest food delivery companies, expects consolidation in most markets, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

“It’s difficult to have more than two players in the food delivery area, there will be global consolidation”, Paulo Passoni, managing investment partner in Softbank’s Latin America Fund, said in a webcast hosted by Brazilian digital broker XP Inc.

He spoke a day after reports from Reuters and other media that Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N, partly owned by SoftBank, was in talks to buy online food delivery company Grubhub Inc.

SoftBank’s Latin America Fund is also a shareholder in Rappi, founded in Colombia. In addition Softbank is a shareholder in Chinese ride hailing company Didi, whose Didi Eats unit has had high growth in Mexico, Passoni added.

Passoni said the novel coronavirus pandemic has made him “more comfortable” with SoftBank’s portfolio in Latin America, as most of its stakeholdings are experiencing higher demand thanks to social distancing measures and growing digitalization of Latin American economies.

Digital wallets and online banks are booming, Passoni said, because most e-commerce and delivery companies do not accept cash. SoftBank's Latin America fund has a stake in Brazilian digital bank Banco Inter SA BIDI4.SA.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Bernadette Baum