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Promigas Trading Suspended After Corficolombiana Stake Bid

Colombia’s stock market suspended trading of Promigas SA after Corp. Financiera Colombiana SA approved a plan to bid for as much of 75.03 percent of the natural gas distributor’s shares in circulation.

Promigas received an offer of 25,000 pesos ($14.13) per share, according to a regulatory filing, a 13 percent discount to the last closing price of 28,900 pesos. The offer would represent a bid of as much as 2.5 trillion pesos. Corficolombiana already owns a 24.97 percent stake in Promigas, the holding company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

“The offer doesn’t necessarily have to be above the last price to be attractive” because Promigas’s shares are illiquid and trade at low volumes, said Nicolas Pardo, an analyst at Valores Bancolombia SA.

Corficolombiana, a financial-services and holding company, seeks to invest in “stable sectors with ample growth prospects,” the statement said. Promigas’ status as a public utility with government-regulated prices offers a high and stable stream of dividends, said Felipe Toro, an analyst at Interbolsa SA.

“This company gives back a lot of its profits to its shareholders,” Toro said in a telephone interview from Medellin. “It’s one of the companies with the highest yield in the Colombian stock market.”

Corficolombiana’s shares dropped 0.1 percent to 31,560 pesos at 1:25 p.m. in Bogota.

Promigas has a dividend yield of 4.11 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, compared to an average 3 percent yield for the Colcap index. The company’s shares have risen 9.1 percent this year, compared to a 6.9 percent return for the Colcap.

A Promigas official, who asked not to be named in accordance with company policy, declined to comment beyond the regulatory filing. Promigas transports 44 percent of Colombia’s natural gas, according to the company’s website.

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