Argentina’s San Miguel Said to Reassess Share Sale on Trump

Updated on
  • Lemon exporter seeking to sell as much as $50 million shares
  • Company had considered Trump win an unlikely scenario

Argentina’s San Miguel, the nation’s biggest exporter of lemons, will meet with financial advisers to discuss the timing of a share sale after the surprise win by Donald Trump, according to three people familiar with the decision.

Executives will meet Wednesday afternoon to discuss when the sale of as much as $50 million in shares should take place, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The company had considered a Trump win unlikely during its planning for the offering, and officials are now reconsidering the timing, two of the people said.

San Miguel’s board authorized the sale in August as the U.S. said it was reviewing an application to allow imports of Argentine lemons. The victory by Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to protect U.S. companies from unfair competition, clouded the outlook for the decision. The Argentine government expects the talks to approve exports to continue, but anticipates delays in the process, Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile said Wednesday. Buryaile said he doesn’t believe Trump’s election will influence the outcome.

The U.S. is expected to approve the import of Argentine lemons before Trump takes office, Argentina’s agricultural attache in Washington, Jose Molina, said on Wednesday. A U.S. Embassy press official didn’t immediately reply to a call and an e-mail seeking comment.

“The board has authorized the sale of shares, but no date has been set yet. This authorization is still valid,” San Miguel’s press office said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Shares of the lemon exporter fell as much as 10 percent before closing 3.8 percent lower at 114.5 pesos in Buenos Aires. The move was due to concern the U.S. would scrap or hold up the agreement, according to Pablo Escapa, an analyst at Allaria Ledesma.

"San Miguel was set to benefit from higher export prices to the U.S.," he said.

Raymond James Financial Inc. is the lead manager for the sale, while Banco Santander Rio SA and Puente Hnos SA will co-manage the follow-on share sale. The press departments of the three financial institutions declined to comment.

— With assistance by Jonathan Gilbert

(Updates with comment from Argentine agricultural attache in fourth paragraph.)
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