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Supermercados del Sur Weighs IPO, Controller Says

11 January 2011

(Bloomberg) January 11, 2011 – Supermercados del Sur SA, controlled by private equity firm Southern Cross Group, may sell shares on the Santiago exchange as it seeks to take market share from larger supermarket operators in Chile. 

An initial public offering is “very likely,” Raul Sotomayor, a Southern Cross partner, told reporters in Santiago today.

Supermercados del Sur, which began to grow in 2008 by acquiring smaller brands, will make a decision on an investment plan within 18 months that would require an IPO, he said.

The supermarket chain plans to increase sales by at least 10 percent this year, surpassing $1 billion, and raise its market share to 13 percent from 7 percent, Chief Executive Officer Augusto Coello said today. Wal-Mart Chile SA and Cencosud SA are the biggest supermarket operators in Chile.

Supermercados del Sur will invest $210 million through 2013 to open 80 new stores under its Bigger and Maxiahorro brands, Coello said.

The company plans to sell on Jan. 19 about $100 million in inflation-linked bonds to refinance debt, Sebastian Cereceda, a corporate finance executive at Larrain Vial SA, which is advising on the transaction, told reporters today.

By Eduardo Thomson