Paper: Luksic Could Launch Banchile Tender Offer, Today

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2000
Chile's powerful Luksic group could launch a tender offer today to take control of Banco de Chile (#Banchile#), business daily Estrategia reported. Chile's Securities and Exchange Commission (SVS) suspended the trading of Banchile shares on Monday. The SVS later extended the suspension until 12:00 today (Dec.6). Both the Luksic group, through its investment vehicle #Quienco# (NYSE: LQ), and Banchile controller Empresas Penta have informed the SVS that they want to increase their stake in Banchile. Empresas Penta controls 35% of Banchile through a shareholder pact with other local shareholders, while Quienco has a 12.5% stake. Market observers have long speculated that the Luksic group would like to take control of Banchile and merge it with its #Edwards# (NYSE: AED) bank, creating a local financial powerhouse. The market is not ruling out a counter tender offer by Empresas Penta, which so far has not shown any signs of wanting to let go of Banchile. Banchile is considered the "crown-jewel" in Chilean banking due to its profitability, and any attempt to take control of the bank will undoubtedly be an expensive operation.

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