Fair Market Value for All?
The merger of Chile's Banco de Edwards and Banco de Chile is bound to be good for the banks. But minority shareholders worry that Quiñeco, which controls both institutions, has gotten the better of them.
It took three years, but the Chilean conglomerate Quiñenco has deftly maneuvered its way back to the top of the country's banking sector. Ever since Quiñenco sold a controlling stake in one of Chile's top banks, the company has been reassembling its banking platform through a different venue.
Quiñenco sold its 35% position in Banco Santiago in 1999 and quickly began accumulating shares in Banco de Edwards and then in Banco de Chile. Two years later, Quiñenco, which is 82% owned by the Luksic family, had built up a controlling interest in both banks. By this August, Quiñenco announced that it would merge Banco de Edwards and Banco de Chile. And by January the combined bank, to be known as Banco de Chile, will be the country's largest, with around $12 billion in assets, $800 million in capital and a 20% market share in loans and deposits.
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