Billionaire Jaime Gilinski reached an agreement that will give him control of Colombia’s largest food maker in exchange for his stake in the financial conglomerate Grupo Sura.
(Bloomberg) — Billionaire Jaime Gilinski reached an agreement that will give him control of Colombia’s largest food maker in exchange for his stake in the financial conglomerate Grupo Sura.
Gilinski, in partnership with the royal family of Abu Dhabi, will increase his stake in Grupo Nutresa to at least 87%, according to a regulatory filing. In exchange, Gilinski will swap his stake in Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana, or Grupo Sura as it’s known, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
The all-stock agreement was reached Wednesday, the person said. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. Nutresa’s market capitalization is about $6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The deal brings to an end an 18-month saga in which Gilinski spent roughly $2.7 billion buying up stock in Nutresa and Sura, two of the companies that make up Colombia’s largest business group. The Medellin-based Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno, or GEA, used a web of cross-holdings to protect the companies from takeover bids.
Gilinski, who made his fortune in banking, including as owner of the bank GNB Sudameris, never gained outright control of the companies through the stock purchases. But the deal struck Wednesday, gives him ownership of a producer of snacks, chocolates and coffee that has interests in restaurant chains.
“Gilinski achieved his objective,” said Luis Carlos Bravo, a professor of finance at Colombian business school INALDE. The GEA, though, “loses Nutresa. In the end, they sold it and that wasn’t what they wanted.”
Under the agreement, the GEA agreed to give up its investments in Nutresa. Gilinski, in turn, will not invest in Sura or infrastructure and cement conglomerate Grupo Argos SA, the third pillar of the GEA. Trading in Nutresa, Grupo Sura and Grupo Argos will be halted in Bogota through June 15, according to a separate regulatory filing.
The move may help improve trading volumes in the Colombian market, which are low, Credicorp Capital analyst Steffania Mosquera wrote in a note.
It may also “help simplify the structure of Grupo Argos and Grupo Sura, which could be seen as positive by investors,” she wrote.
–With assistance from Oscar Medina.
(Adds trading halted in seventh paragraph, comment starting in eighth.)
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