Chile’s Corpbanca Gains as Itau Offers More Cash to Close Merger

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Corpbanca rallied the most in 17 months after Itau Unibanco Holding SA offered the Chilean lender’s shareholders additional cash to secure approval of a takeover within the next eight weeks.

The shares closed 6.9 percent higher at 7.48 pesos at the close in Santiago, the most since December 2013. Corpbanca was also the most active share today by value in Chile, with 9.8 billion pesos ($16 million) changing hands. The benchmark Chilean IPSA index lost 0.1 percent.

Itau, which agreed to take over Corpbanca in January 2014, said it will approve a plan for the Chilean lender to pay $300 million in an additional dividend to help persuade shareholders to approve the merger with Itau’s Banco Itau Chile. Its support comes with the condition that the vote happens no later than June 30, according to a statement posted Thursday on its website.

The offer also seeks to compensate shareholders after an independent audit of the merger terms by KPMG said Banco Itau Chile should receive a 32 percent stake in the merged entity instead of the 34 percent stake stipulated in the original agreement, according to the statement.

“It’s a very attractive offer since it almost triples Corpbanca’s dividend yield,” Gustavo Catalan, an analyst at Banco de Credito e Inversiones, said in a phone interview from Santiago. “Itau is sending the message that it’s very important for them to secure control of Corpbanca.”

Corpbanca’s controlling shareholder, billionaire Alvaro Saieh, will own 33 percent of the merged entity.

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