Polpaico major share trade sees Gasco exit

Polpaico major share trade sees Gasco exit
Published: 29 December 2010

Chilean natural-gas supplier Gasco SA has raised 54.8 billion Chilean pesos (US$116.7m) after selling its 40.9% stake in local cement maker Cemento Polpaico SA this week. The proceeds from the sale of 7.31 million shares of Cemento Polpaico will be used to fund Gasco’s development of projects in Chile and Colombia – reports Dow Jones in New York

"The proceeds will go towards the company’s core business, especially liquefied gas in Colombia and vehicular gas, [specifically] natural and liquefied gas, in Chile," said Gasco’s head of corporate finance, Pablo Sobarzo.

Chile’s cement industry is dominated by Grupo Polpaico, locally owned Cementos Bio-Bio SA and finally Melon SA, which is controlled by Peru’s Brescia Group.

Grupo Polpaico SA, Cemento Polpaico’s parent company, is 52%-owned by Holcim.

Gasco sold the shares at CLP7,500 each, CLP500 lower than the asking price of CLP8,000. However, the "final price was within the range the company was expecting," Sobarzo said.

Retail investors snapped up approximately 25% of the stake, institutional investors grabbed 30% and "significant non-institutional investors" bought 45%, Sobarzo said.

Over the past 52 weeks, Polpaico’s shares have traded at a low of CLP6900 and a high of CLP11,100; they have gained 8.7% over the same period.