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Chile Winemaking, Retail Bring Investment Abroad to 14-Year High

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Chile’s direct investment abroad reached $5.82 billion in 2011, the highest level since 1997, as companies such as winemaker Vina Concha y Toro SA and industrial group Sigdo Koppers SA expanded overseas.

Foreign investment leaped 27 percent from 2010, the Foreign Relations Ministry said in a report posted on its website yesterday. Peru led the investment destinations with $1.16 billion, followed by Uruguay and Colombia with $950 million and $937 million respectively, the ministry said.

Concha y Toro, which makes the Casillero del Diablo brand of wine, last year completed its first U.S. acquisition, buying California winery Fetzer Vineyards. Sigdo Koppers agreed to purchase Belgium-based grinding products company Magotteaux SA, Chile’s largest ever acquisition in the European Union, while retailer Empresas La Polar SA expanded in Colombia and Empresas Copec SA invested in a pulp plant in Uruguay.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Woods in Santiago at rwoods13@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.

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