Corpbanca Rises to Seven-Month High as Itau Sweetens Deal Terms

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Corpbanca climbed to a seven-month high after Brazil’s Itau Unibanco Holding SA agreed to sweeten terms of the merger of its Chilean unit with the lender controlled by billionaire Alvaro Saieh.

Shares of Corpbanca rallied 3.8 percent to 7.72 pesos at the close in Santiago, the highest level since Nov. 11. The benchmark IPSA index increased 0.2 percent.

Corpbanca’s shareholders will vote June 26 on an extraordinary $400 million dividend as part of its deal with Itau, according to a filing posted Tuesday on the website of Chile’s securities regulator. The dividend would compensate for a drop in profitability at Itau Chile since the agreement was signed in January 2014.

“The most likely scenario with the new terms is that the deal will get the two-thirds approval from shareholders,” Gustavo Catalan, an analyst at Banco de Credito e Inversiones, said by telephone from Santiago. “It also makes it much more attractive on a dividend yield basis.”

Itau had offered a $300 million extra dividend to speed up the approval process and compensate for the reduced value of its Chilean unit, while Corpbanca’s board had asked for $400 million and other consideration. The offers and counteroffers had sparked speculation that talks were floundering and the deal could fall apart, Catalan said.

Corpbanca and Itau Chile also agreed to postpone the merger deadline until next year, with each lender paying half of their 2015 profit as dividends.

In 2014, Corpbanca’s profit increased 46 percent from a year earlier, while Itau Chile’s net income contracted 2.3 percent, data from the local bank regulator show.

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