Bloomberg News

Bancolombia to Invest Up to $300 Million in Sura’s ING Deal

November 25, 2011

(Updates closing price in fifth paragraph, UBS details in sixth paragraph.)

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Bancolombia SA, Colombia’s biggest lender, will contribute $150 million to $300 million as a co- investor in parent company’s Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana’s purchase of ING Groep NV’s Latin American assets.

The bank will wait for final results of its parent company’s share offering that ended Nov. 22 before it decides on the amount to invest, Bancolombia President Carlos Raul Yepes told reporters today in Bogota.

Sura, as the group is known, said yesterday it sold about 3.5 trillion pesos ($1.8 billion) in the largest share placement in Colombia in four years, attracting investors including UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank. The offering, which came up short of its target of 3.9 trillion peso, will help pay for Sura’s 2.7 billion euro ($3.6 billion) purchase of ING assets.

Sura agreed in July to buy ING’s pensions, life insurance and investment management operations in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Peru. Sura has said the International Finance Corporation, Sociedad Bolivar SA and a U.S.-based private international fund will help pay for the purchase with a combined total of as much as $900 million.

Sura shares fell 0.8 percent to 29,660 pesos at 4 p.m. Bogota time after sinking 4.9 percent yesterday.

Bancolombia has no plans to issue new stock or bonds as markets go through “turbulence,” Yepes said.

Yepes said he will meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos today to discuss the bank’s plan to create a new credit line for victims of damages by heavy rains that have ravaged Colombia since September. He said the bank is restructuring 144 billion pesos of debt for rain victims and hasn’t opened any legal proceedings against those affected by the rain.

--Editors: Marie-France Han, Brendan Walsh

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Schmidt in Bogota at bschmidt16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net


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