GPA sets date for Exito offer, as France’s Casino simplifies Latam holdings

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Brazilian retailer GPA formally announced the terms for a tender offer to acquire shares of Colombian retailer Almacenes Exito SA on Saturday, the first step in a closely watched move by parent company Casino Guichard Perrachon SA to simplify its shareholding structure.

In a securities filing, GPA said all Exito shareholders would have between Oct. 28 and Nov. 19 to accept the takeover bid by Sendas Distribuidora SA, a GPA subsidiary, at a price of 18,000 Colombian pesos ($5.26) per share.

Following the completion of the tender offer, GPA will begin the process of migrating to the Novo Mercado, a category of the Sao Paulo stock exchange that requires higher governance standards and generally fetches a premium for its constituents, the company said.

The France-based Casino group, which has been grappling with high debt, has been trying to address investor criticism over the complex and sometimes opaque structure of its business. It is the ultimate parent of both Exito and GPA.

In June, it announced the plan for GPA to acquire Exito shares via a tender offer, in a bid to address those concerns.

Reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro
Editing by Matthew Lewis

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