Chilean retailer Cencosud's capital increase raises $1.6 bln

SANTIAGO, March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:30pm EDT

SANTIAGO, March 15 (Reuters) - Chilean retailer Cencosud said on Friday it has virtually completed a planned share offering, raising 770.65 billion pesos, or $1.634 billion, to help pay for its recent purchase of French retailer Carrefour SA's Colombian assets.

Cencosud will pay off a $2.5 billion bridge loan with JP Morgan it used for the Carrefour acquisition with the proceeds from the capital increase and another $1.2 billion obtained through a bond issue in December.

The funds left over after paying back the loan will be used to repay other debt obligations, Cencosud said.

Chile's billionaire Paulmann family exercised its preferential option to subscribe to the capital increase and maintained its nearly 62 percent stake in the company.

Cencosud, which operates about 900 supermarkets, department and home improvement stores and shopping malls in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru, has until November 2015 to sell the remaining 1.1 percent of shares offered in the capital increase.

($1 = 471.60 Chilean pesos on Friday) (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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