• Company looks to sell as much as 17.5% of the company June 6
  • Grupo Supervielle sold $280 million in stock offering in May

Argentine confectioner Havanna is looking to raise as much as 277.5 million pesos ($19.9 million) in the first local initial public offering since 2013.

Havanna plans to sell a 17.5 percent stake on June 6, consisting of as much as 7.5 million common shares priced at between 32 and 37 pesos, Horacio Aguilar, head of capital markets at Puente, said at a presentation Monday. Buenos Aires brokerage Puente will arrange the sale.

Best known for its version of alfajores, a popular sweet, Havanna will be the second Argentine company to list shares in a month and the first since 2013 to limit the sale to the local market. Financial group Grupo Supervielle SA, controller of Banco Supervielle SA, raised $280 million on May 19 in New York and Buenos Aires in an offering that snapped the country’s two-year IPO drought.

“The IPO is an important milestone for the company and also for Argentina’s capital markets,” said Emilio Ilac, chief executive officer of Puente. “This is the first of many IPOs in the new Argentina. We have mandates from several companies to bring them to capital markets and expect to see this happening through the rest of the year."

Havanna, which got its start selling alfajores in 1947 in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, now operates 212 stores in Argentina and 91 abroad and has diversified to serve coffee. The company wants to use the proceeds of the sale to finance an industrial plant that will allow the company to improve its alfajor production efficiency, Havanna CEO Alan Aurich said. The company expects to continue growing abroad and is focused on Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., he added.

"We’ve been preparing for two or three years to come to market and were ready in early 2015 but decided to wait for a new government to come in with clear expectations and then make the jump," Aurich said in an interview. "Our company has been working since 1947, and we’ve worked through all sorts of economic turmoil, military dictatorships, hyperinflation periods. Our view is a long-term one."

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