- Shares decline by most in eight months in Mexico City
- Newspaper columnist says Marzam, Nadro under investigation
Genomma Lab Internacional SAB, the Mexican seller of remedies for acne and baldness, fell the most in eight months after a news report that a drug distributor in which the company sold a majority stake last year is being probed by antitrust regulators.
The shares lost 4.3 percent to 17.84 pesos at 2:22 p.m. in Mexico City on Monday, after declining as much as 7.7 percent. The company has surged 29 percent so far this year as it tries to win investors back after local sales tumbled.
Genomma last June agreed to sell a controlling stake in distributor Grupo Comercial e Industrial Marzam SAPI to a Dutch private-equity firm which, Excelsior Columnist Dario Celis says, was shown to have financial backers closely tied to the head of rival firm Nadro SA. Investigators are now concerned that Nadro, with its Marzam stake, unfairly dominates the Mexican market, Celis said. The column doesn’t say Genomma is under investigation.
“A formal investigation by authorities would worry investors,” said Aldo Miranda, an equity sales trader at CI Casa de Bolsa, adding that the column was behind today’s decline.
The newspaper article links the investigation to the millions of leaked documents known as the Panama Papers, that have led to widespread revelations about offshore accounts owned by the rich and powerful, and forced the prime minister of Iceland to resign.
Genomma Chief Executive Officer Maximo Juda told Bloomberg that Monday’s stock decline wasn’t a result of the news report. Marzam didn’t respond to a request for comment and Nadro declined to comment.
The alleged ties between the firm buying Marzam and Nadro were first reported in April by Mexican news website Aristegui Noticias. When asked about a possible probe into the matter late last month, Cofece Chair Alejandra Palacios wouldn’t say if an investigation was underway.
“We are, in a general manner, verifying that the law was complied with,” she said at the time. “As of now, there isn’t a public announcement of an open investigation in the Panama Papers case.”