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Alfa Said to Hire Citigroup, Goldman for Sigma Food Unit IPO

Alfa SAB, the Mexican maker of car parts and petrochemicals, hired Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for an initial public offering of its Sigma Alimentos SA food division, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Bank of America Corp. and Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB also are among the banks working on the transaction, said the people, who asked not to be identified because details of the planned sale, including the timing and size, haven’t been set. Alfa fell 0.5 percent to 36.67 pesos at the close in Mexico City, after earlier advancing as much as 3.7 percent. The benchmark IPC index of 35 companies fell 1 percent.

Sigma’s IPO would be the second in two years from San Pedro Garza Garcia-based Alfa, which sold shares of petrochemical division Alpek SAB in April 2012. Sigma has been expanding through acquisitions, with purchases in the second quarter of a Costa Rican cheesemaker and a Mexican processor of beef, poultry and pork. In 2010 Sigma bought Phoenix-based Bar-S Foods Co.

Enrique Flores, a spokesman for San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico-based Alfa, didn’t respond to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment on the company’s plans for Sigma.

Angeles Meraz, a press official with Citigroup’s Banamex unit, declined to comment, as did Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, and Kerrie McHugh, a spokeswoman for Bank of America. Ayax Carranza, a press official with Banorte, didn’t respond to phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

Alfa shares have soared 35 percent this year, the fourth-best performance on the nation’s benchmark IPC index, giving the company a market value of 189.4 billion pesos ($14.5 billion) at yesterday’s close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sigma accounted for about a quarter of Alfa’s 2012 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a measure of profit known as Ebitda. It contributed about 23 percent of sales.

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