What Jumps Out: 6 Questions Surrounding the Nutresa Saga
Yesterday, it was announced that Medellín’s pantomime villain Jaime Gilinski in conjunction with his Middle East chums had taken control of Nutresa and would own 87% of the shares.
At the same time, according to reports, they would hand back any shares in Grupo Argos and Grupo SURA. The press is calling this the end of the GEA cross holdings however in reality at first blush, it appears, to the creation of a smaller GEA with Celsia Energía, Cementos Argos and Bancolombia the other main components.
There are still more questions than answers.
1. The Gilinskis first chased Nutresa but many felt the ultimate goal, for well-documented personal reasons, was Bancolombia. Have they now given up on that ambition?
2. What will happen with the stock price of Nutresa? It will remain with almost no free float or liquidity and in the hands of a group who appear to be able to add little value to the company.
3. Might Sura or Argos now be in a position to refloat their shares via secondary issues? Does the agreement cover future Gilinski participation in the shares of the two groups?
4. Will Carlos Ignacio, one of the world’s most decent human beings, remain with Nutresa after all the bitterness of the past 18 months ?
5. What will the Gilinskis do with Nutresa? Will it be a quick turnaround and a sale to a foreign group?
6. Will the sacrifice of such an amazing asset be worth it in order to maintain the huge social and philanthropic structure that the GEA maintains in Medellín, a non-tangible that most don’t want to see?
This soap opera has had more twists and turns than Dallas, Eastenders and Breaking Bad combined but one wonders what will come next. It has done irrefutable damage to the equity markers but hopefully there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.
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