Argos and Sura respond harshly to Gilinski’s offer

In less than three weeks, the Gilinski Group embarked on a race to enter the Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño (GEA). He first bid for the food holding Nutresa, in a move that took the market by surprise and moved the foundations of the Colombian stock market, accustomed to yawning. And when the whole game seemed on the table, he charged for Sura, the heart of the GEA and one of the most important financial services companies in Latin America. It is a fact without antecedents that seemed only a business bet but that now has overtones of hostile take, or so the presidents of Argos and Sura have considered it in the last hours.

And it is that yesterday, after a great upheaval in the market, Jorge Mario Velásquez, president of Grupo Argos, spoke harshly in front of the offers, after a long silence, calling attention to “the uncertainty, doubts and blockages that they generate two simultaneous takeover bids from the same bidder against which the medium and long-term strategic purpose and purpose have not been clearly expressed, absolutely fundamental elements for the decision-making of any investor ”.

It happens that with Gilinski’s recent bid for Sura, his intention to enter a market that until now was only for countries and in companies that have been owned by the people was evident; In this way, a large percentage of society would remain in the hands of a single man, the magnate Jaime Gilinski, who, through his companies Nugil and JGDB Holding SAS, is offering securities above market prices to access at least the 50.1% of Grupo Nutresa and 25.344% of Grupo Sura, it is not even ruled out that from now on it will go for the same Grupo Argos.

According to Velásquez’s vision, this whole situation creates confusion for shareholders and for the market. In fact, beyond the purchase of Nutresa shares, which is already firm, the Colombian Stock Exchange has experienced some of its best days, since since November 10, when the Gilinski Group presented the first takeover bid, the share of the food conglomerate has risen 32%, that of Sura has perceived an appreciation of 18.6%, and that of Grupo Argosse has appreciated 30.4%. (See chart)

In the midst of this situation, Grupo Argos filed a communication with the Financial Superintendence of Colombia expressing its concerns about the eventual approval of a takeover bid by Grupo Sura, of which it owns 27.7% of the shares.

The main concern of Argos is that the process does supply all the procedures and comply with the requirements in terms of financial regulation and competition, as well as all the implications that these operations have for the capital market and for the country, precisely because of fall on a financial conglomerate such as Grupo Sura.

Is that this, according to the analysts consulted, could be the Gilinski’s gateway to Bancolombia, since Sura has 46% of the bank’s outstanding shares and the Gilinski family has one of the three legs of its business in the world financial system, under the great blanket of the GNB Sudameris bank.

For this reason, Velásquez added that it is essential that shareholders have the necessary, timely, clear and sufficient information to analyze the effects that these operations could derive not only against the companies subject to them, but also against their groups. of interest.

In the same sense, the Sura Group also ruled: “The request for a takeover bid presented yesterday is a new, substantial and decisive element, which hampers our due orderly and rigorous analysis of the Public Offer for the Acquisition of Shares (OPA ) presented on Grupo Nutresa ”.

All these business moves are reminiscent of various hostile takeovers that the GEA has experienced, such as the one in which Coltejer was lost to Ardila Lülle, which were precisely those that forced him to maintain a stock castling system that did not allow the entry of outsiders, precisely what he sees undaunted today

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