Shareholders of Colombia’s largest retailer, Almacenes Exito SA, on Wednesday approved a plan by the board of directors to purchase two supermarket chains in Uruguay for $746 million.
In a statement, Exito also said its planned share issue for up to $1.4 billion, the proceeds of which would go toward the acquisitions in Uruguay, is moving forward and should be completed around the end of September.
Last week, Exito disclosed the plan to buy Uruguayan retailers Disco and Devoto, two of that countries’ largest grocers. Both Exito and the two Uruguayan firms they plan to buy are majority-controlled by French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA, so they deal left some analysts scratching their heads.
“Casino [is] purchasing an asset from Casino,” Rupert Stebbings of investment firm Celfin Capital in Medellin said last week.
Together, the two retailers in Uruguay have 53 stores and are projected to generate sales of $770 million this year.
The latest statement from Exito said Casino wants it to lead the way in Casino’s expansion throughout Spanish-speaking Latin America.
Exito shares fell 1.2% Wednesday on the Colombian Stock Exchange to close at COP23,700. The company’s stock price has fallen 9% since the new share-issue plan was reported last week.