Casino accepts offer of US$ 1.17 billion for Exito; GPA raises R$790 million

2023-10-16 06:49:59

The French group Casino accepted an offer that values ​​Almacenes Exito at US$1.175 billion, monetizing its stake in the Colombian supermarket chain and helping Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA) put almost R$800 million in cash.

The buyer is Grupo Calleja, a leading supermarket chain in El Salvador that operates under the Super Selectos banner.

GPA recently said that its board approved the conclusion of a pre-agreement with Grupo Calleja, which will launch a public offer to acquire 100% of Exito.

GPA owns 13.31% of Exito’s capital; the Casino has another 34.05%.

Both committed to selling their shares in the OPA, which is subject to the acquisition of at least 51% of Exito’s capital.

Of the total of US$1.175 billion, GPA will receive US$156 million (the equivalent of R$790 million at today’s exchange rate).

Payment will be in cash, and GPA estimates that the settlement of the OPA should occur around the end of the year.

The company said the sale is another step forward in its plan to reduce leverage through the sale of non-core assets.

This year, the company has already raised R$330 million in a sale and leaseback 11 stores; R$247 million for the sale of land in Barra da Tijuca; and R$52 million from the sale of other non-core assets.

GPA said it is still in negotiations for the sale of other assets – the main one being CNova, the European ecommerce company in which GPA has a 34% stake.

Grupo Calleja has 110 stores and around 60% market share among supermarkets in El Salvador. Its Super Selectos network is one of the largest companies in the country and employs more than 12 thousand people.

​​Casino is selling Exito for a price slightly above what it had refused in July, when Exito was still controlled by GPA; in August, in a capital reduction, GPA distributed 83% of Exito’s capital to all GPA shareholders and retained the 13% that it is now selling.

In June, Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinksi offered US$834 million for 96% of Exito; the following month, he increased the offer by $300 million, valuing the network at $1.15 billion (even though the bid was for just 51% equity).

The GPA board rejected that offer and decided to go ahead with the capital reduction, which ended up not generating the expected value.

Geraldo Samor

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