Cencosud Bags Retail Investors

May 26, 2004

The Chilean grocery store chain storms into the stock market with an IPO aimed at domestic and international investors and feeds an appetite for Latin shares.

Chile's number two retailer conducted the largest-ever initial public offering in the country's in May, with a strong base of support from individual investors. Cencosud's $333.5 million offering drew orders of $1 billion. The company raised $228.19 million in Santiago from mainly retail investors, and $105.38 million in a level one-listing of American Depositary Shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Oscar Molina, co-head of corporate finance at Chilean investment bank Celfin Capital, which was joint bookrunner on the deal, says, "Initially we thought local demand for a large deal like this would not be sufficient. The local market proved to be much deeper than we thought six months ago." Laurence Golborne, chief executive officer of Cencosud, says the company's controlling shareholder, Horst Paulmann, wanted to sell the 20% stake in his family-owned company, to as broad...

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