In Chile, during the last days of May, HDI Seguros announced the acquisition of Liberty Seguros in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil for US$ 1.48 billion. The acquisition was for 100% of the company’s shares, making Talanx Group, HDI’s parent company, the third-largest insurance firm in Latin America regarding property-casualty premium income. Talanx Group is the third-largest German insurance group in terms of premium income and one of the largest in Europe. Liberty Seguros is a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Group, a Boston-based insurance company. The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2024, after obtaining regulatory and competition approvals.

In the Chilean energy sector, BlackRock, through the Global Renewable Power Fund III, completed the purchase of two solar energy portfolios with a total installed capacity of 196 MW. The US-based firm first acquired a set of 15 PMGD projects from Renewable Resources Group Fund. The portfolio has an installed capacity of 97 MW, of which 75 MW are in operation and 22 MW are under construction. The second portfolio corresponds to 11 PMGD projects under development previously owned by Fondo de Inversión Privado D’E Capital Energía Renovable I investment fund, managed by Administradora D’E Capital. The projects have a total installed capacity of 99 MW and will begin their construction in the upcoming months. BlackRock has outlined its intentions to continue acquiring assets in Chile, with the aim of attaining a minimum installed capacity of 450 MW, representing an overall equity investment of nearly US$ 200 million.

In May, Canada Inc, which is controlled by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), a renowned Canadian pension fund, along with their partner SJF Investments, publicly announced their intentions to initiate an Initial Public Offering (IPO) takeover bid for Hortifrut, a leading Chilean fruit producer and exporter. This strategic move aims to increase their existing stakes in the company. As one of the most significant players, Hortifrut stands out in the Chilean agribusiness sector, specifically within the berries market. The price offered by PSP was US$ 1.63 per share, around double the closing price on the day before the announcement of the IPO in December 2022. This value represents a transaction of between US$ 290 million and US$ 420 million, depending on the amount of shares finally tendered. The tender offer is subject to PSP Investments acquiring at least 31.12% of the shares, thus reaching 36% ownership of Hortifrut. If the transaction succeeds, the company will cease to be publicly traded and will be delisted from the Santiago stock exchange. PSP is one of Canada’s largest pension managers, while SJF Investments is a Chilean investment manager controlled by Ignacio del Río, who is also a shareholder through two entities.

In the health retail sector, LarrainVial announced (in the representation of a consortium of Chilean investors) the acquisition of Farmacias Ahumada, owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). Farmacias Ahumada is one of Chile’s most popular pharmacy chains, while Walgreens is one of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States, with a broad international presence. WBA acquired Farmacias Ahumada in 2014, as part of a larger transaction including the Mexican Farmacias Benavides chain. This agreement is expected to strengthen Farmacias Ahumada’s presence in Chile and reposition itself as one of the main players in the industry. The transaction is currently subject to regulatory approvals by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE).

Among the completed transactions in Chile during the month of May, Toesca Asset Manager sold 50% of Nueva Atacama’s shares from its infrastructure fund “Toesca Infraestructura” to Aguas Nuevas and EnerNuevas. The transaction was closed for an estimated value of US$ 57.3 million. Nueva Atacama is a Chilean water utility engaged in the production and distribution of drinking water, as well as the collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater in several cities in Chile’s Atacama Region. On the buying side, Aguas Nuevas provides sanitation services through the management of water resources, while EnerNuevas is a company dedicated to the generation of sustainable energy and supply of services in electricity projects. This transaction represents one of the first divestments of Toesca’s fund, six years after its launch.

In Colombia, an important announcement was made by the group of companies that make up the Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño (GEA), comprising of Grupo Argos, Grupo Nutresa, and Grupo Sura, terminating their 40-year-long shareholding agreement where they held an important share ownership in each other. The announcement followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the following companies: Grupo Argos, Grupo Nutresa, and Grupo Sura (Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño), JGBD Holding and Nugil (Gilinski group companies) and IHC Capital Holdings and Aflaj Investments (United Arab Emirates firms). The agreement establishes the initial terms of a series of operations between the parties. First, JGBD Holding and Nugil agreed to acquire a minimum stake of 87% in Grupo Nutresa. Second, Nutresa will sell its positions in Grupo Sura and Grupo Argos. Third, Sura and Argos will divest their shareholding in Nutresa. Finally, Gilinski Group entities along with HIC Capital Holding will relinquish their shares in Grupo Sura. To complete the transaction, the companies need to obtain the necessary corporate and legal authorizations, including approvals from the Colombian Financial Superintendency and other pertinent regulatory bodies.

In the Colombian mining industry, the Canadian company Quimbaya Gold announced the acquisition of two mining projects located in the Antioquia region: Tahami and Maitamac, properties of Explogold Ingeniería y Consultoría, Minera Buey Aures, and Soluciones Ambientales Del Nordeste (all owned by Remandes Corporation). The Tahami and Maitamac projects are located near Medellin, the first in the mining district of Segovia and the latter in the municipalities of Abejorral and Sonson. The two projects together account for 30,102 hectares of land available for high-grade gold and silver mining.

In the Peruvian energy sector, InfraCorp, the infrastructure investment platform operated by Grupo Romero, concluded the acquisition of Samay I from Inkia Energy. Samay I operates and owns a 724 MW thermoelectric power plant named Puerto Bravo, which has been in operation since 2016 and is situated 130 km south of the city of Arequipa. Inkia Energy is a leader in the energy industry in Latin America and is controlled by I Squared Capital, a global infrastructure fund with more than US$ 37 billion of assets under management. The acquisition represents Grupo Romero’s first investment in the energy sector, maintaining its position as one of the largest Peruvian conglomerates in the country and the region. Grupo Romero also owns assets in financial services, infrastructure, retail, real estate, and agribusiness, among other industries.

In another transaction in the Peruvian energy sector, Frontera Energy Corporation successfully concluded the divestment of Frontera Energy OffShore Perú, selling its total stake for US$ 10 million to an undisclosed purchaser within the energy market. Frontera Energy Offshore Peru engages in exploration activities for hydrocarbon extraction in a determined marine zone, situated approximately ten miles off the northern coast of Peru. By completing this transaction, Frontera Energy will now concentrate its efforts on its primary projects in the region, involving onshore exploration in Colombia and Ecuador, infrastructure development in Colombia, and offshore exploration in Guyana.

In the Peruvian mining industry, the Australian company EVR Resources agreed to acquire 70% of the Parag mining project from Geo Andina Minerals. Parag covers a total area of 1,399 hectares and is located 145 km north of Lima. With this acquisition, EVR plans to extract copper and molybdenum, in addition to gold and silver. This is the second mining project to be developed by the Australian company in Peru, since it is already operating the Yanamina project, focused on gold and silver extraction.

During the month of May amidst a moderately stable economic climate in the Andean region, M&A transactions maintained a steady pace, with the insurance, energy, and mining sectors as the main areas of activity. The period was marked by the significant presence of international investors, who were willing to strengthen their position in the region’s companies. Local players also played a leading role, showcasing resilience and adaptability in a dynamically shifting scenario. The persistence of these M&A activities reflects confidence in the region’s strength and long-term potential.

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