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Colombian food firm Nutresa subject to new investor interest


Abu Dhabi investment firm International Holding Co. is chasing a minority stake in Grupo Nutresa, Colombia’s largest food business.

In a filing with the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange yesterday (21 September), International Holding (IHC) said it is seeking a 25% to 31.25% interest in Medellin-based Nutresa through a tender offer priced at US$15 a share.

A request has been sent to the financial regulator – the Colombian Superintendency of Finance – for authorisation, it noted in the filing.

Reuters reported the bid amounts to US$2.15bn.

IHC was founded in 1998 to “diversify and grow non-oil business sectors in the UAE”, according to its website. Chaired by ruling family member HH Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brother of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the holding company had AED28.5bn (US$7.7bn) of revenues last year.

The chairman holds the same position at Abu Dhabi conglomerate the Royal Group, which is also party to the Nugil investment vehicle run by Colombian billionaire and banker Jamie Gilinski.

Gilinski has been chasing a majority interest – through Nugil – in meat-to-pasta maker Nutresa since late last year to add to his existing 27.6%. In January this year, Colombia media reports suggested he had launched a bid to acquire a further 18.3% to 22.8%.

Holding company Grupo Sura and Grupo Argos had previously rejected an approach by Gilinski to purchase their combined minority stake. Sura owns 35.7% of Nutresa, while Grupo Argos, a cement and energy business, holds 10%. Sura also owns 35.5% of Argos.

Nutresa, Sura and Argos are all part of Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno (GEA), a conglomerate of more than 100 companies in Colombia.

Just Food has approached Nutresa for comment on the new bid.

Last year, the business generated sales of COP12.7trn ($2.8bn), an increase of 14.5% over the prior 12 months. EBITDA climbed 6.2% to COP1.5tn, while net income was up 17.6% at COP676.8bn.

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