La Polar Falls After Saieh Says No Decision Yet to Seek Control
Empresas La Polar SA (LAPOLAR), the department store operator under investigation for consumer loan irregularities, fell after businessman Alvaro Saieh said he has not decided yet if he will increase his recently-acquired 10 percent stake in the company.
La Polar fell 9.2 percent to 702.67 pesos at 4 p.m. New York time, ending a two-day winning streak in which it rose 23 percent.
“There was speculation that Saieh would seek a controlling stake,” Marcelo Barrero, an analyst at Euroamerica Corredora de Bolsa SA, said in a phone interview from Santiago.
“There is no intention, to date, to acquire control of La Polar. And if there were in the future, CorpGroup would communicate it transparently,” Saieh said in a statement sent last night to the local securities regulator. He is the chairman of holding company CorpGroup.
Saieh began to buy shares in La Polar through his units Corpvida SA and Corpseguros SA on March 30, the statement said. He last bought shares on June 24 and paid 20.8 billion pesos ($45 million), with prices ranging from as high as 2,514 pesos per share and as low as 484.23 pesos.
“Investors are also taking profits after the recent gains,” Francisco Errandonea, head of equity research in Chile for Banco Santander SA, said in a phone interview. “The stock will show a lot of volatility in the next weeks as there are still too many uncertainties regarding its accounting and the structure of the company once it comes out of this crisis.”
La Polar will issue cash to compensate customers affected by its unilateral loan restructurings, the company said in a statement sent late yesterday.
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