Colombia's Grupo Gilinski makes offer to increase Grupo SURA stake

FILE PHOTO: The Grupo Sura logo can be seen at its headquarters in Medellin, Colombia February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fredy Builes

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian financial conglomerate Grupo Gilinski has launched an offer to buy more shares in Grupo SURA after becoming the second biggest shareholder in the country’s holding company, the financial regulator and Colombian stock exchange said.

If the bid is successful, not only will Grupo Gilinski become Grupo SURA’s largest shareholder, controlling a stake larger than that of Grupo Argos, it will secure two seats on Grupo SURA’s board, according to stockbrokers.

Grupo Gilinski, via JGDB Holding SAS, made its first offer to buy between 25.34% and 31.68% of Grupo SURA last November at $8.01 per share.

While the public acquisition offer closed on Tuesday, leaving Grupo Gilinski with a 25.42% stake in Grupo SURA in a transaction worth more than $952.5 million, the company has offered to buy a further 5%-6.25% of the holding company’s shares at a price of $9.88 each, Colombia’s financial regulator said late on Friday.

Following the latest offer, trading in Grupo SURA shares has been suspended, the stock exchange said in a statement.

Grupo SURA is the jewel in the crown of Colombia’s largest conglomerate, Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno (GEA), a sprawling organization of more than 100 businesses where many of the entities own significant stakes in each other.

On Wednesday Grupo Gilinski also saw the close of its public acquisition offer to buy up to 62.625% of shares in Colombia’s largest food processing company, and GEA organization, Nutresa.

Grupo Gilinski had offered to pay $7.71 for each Nutresa share. When the transaction closed, Grupo Gilinski had secured a 27.69% stake in Nutresa, valuing the deal at $977.71 million.

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