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Alsea Jumps to Record on Outlook for Vips Restaurant Acquisition

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Alsea SAB, the biggest owner of Starbucks and Burger King restaurants in Latin America, rallied to a record in Mexico City after Citigroup Inc. said its planned acquisition of the Vips chain will likely go through.

The shares rose 2.7 percent to 47.20 pesos at 12:40 p.m. in Mexico City, poised for a record close after eight straight days of gains.

Citigroup analyst Julio Zamora raised his price target for the stock to 51 pesos yesterday from 41.40 pesos, saying there is a low probability regulators won’t approve Alsea’s 8.2 billion peso ($621 million) purchase of Vips from Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB, which the companies announced in September.

“We have liked the Vips transaction since it was announced because of its strategic relevance and value,” Zamora said. The deal will add 362 restaurants on top of Alsea’s nearly 2,000 locations throughout Latin America.

Alsea has climbed 16 percent this year, the second-biggest gain on the benchmark IPC gauge behind electric and natural gas company Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB, which rose 29 percent. The IPC is down fell 6.8 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonali Basak in New York at sbasak7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Walsh at bwalsh8@bloomberg.net Bradley Keoun

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