Gilinski launches offer for up to 32.5% of Grupo Argos shares

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Grupo Argos is seen in Medellin

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian business magnate Jaime Gilinski has launched a public acquisition offer for shares in industrial conglomerate Grupo Argos, the third company which has recently found itself in Gilinski’s sights, the country’s financial regulator said.

Gilinski – who has shaken up Colombia’s largest conglomerate, Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno (GEA), by launching a series of offers for shares in member companies – is seeking between 26% and 32.5% of Argos.

“The purchase price for each share will be $4.08,” the regulator told the stock exchange in a statement late on Thursday.

Trading of Argos shares will be suspended until a day after the formal acquisition offer is published.

The offer could be worth between $697.6 million and $872 million, according to Reuters calculations.

Gilinski, one of Colombia’s richest men and owner of bank GNB Sudameris, has become financial conglomerate Grupo SURA’s largest shareholder through three public offers, accumulating 34.58% of the company’s shares and beating out previous top shareholder Argos.

He has also launched three offers for shares in food producer Nutresa which have won him 30.8% of the company. He is now the second shareholder after SURA.

The GEA companies – which typically own large stakes in each other – have always declined to participate in the public offers, saying the values offered by Gilinski are too low.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)