Despite market turmoil, Colombia's Grupo Suramericana will sell US$2.1bn of preferred shares in late October or early November "at the latest" to finance the acquisition of Dutch group ING's (NYSE: ING) Latin American pension, life insurance and investment management operations, the holding's finance VP, Andrés Bernal, told BNamericas.
Suramericana's 2.68bn-euro (US$3.9bn) purchase was announced in July and will be funded through a combination of cash, debt, shares and the incorporation of international funds as minority shareholders.
The success of Colombian supermarket chain Almacenes Éxito's US$1.33bn share issue earlier this week, which saw investor demand surpass US$2bn, is a strong sign that the domestic market and foreign investors are eager to buy equity from local corporations, the executive said.
Bernal said he expects "a large chunk" of the issue to be acquired by foreign shareholders.
The ING purchase was the largest ever by a Colombian company and includes 14 companies in Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, with combined assets of US$70bn as of end-2010 and net income of more than US$275mn.
It will also more than double Grupo Suramericana's customer base to 25mn. The acquired companies will be integrated with Suramericana's existing operations in 2012.