By Veronica Gomez
MEXICO CITY Feb 12 Citigroup-unit Banamex sold
over half its stake in top Mexican airline Aeromexico
for more than $172 million and the head of major
milk company Lala picked up the shares, raising his holding in
Aeromexico said in a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange
on Tuesday that a group of local businessmen, led by Eduardo
Tricio Haro, president of Mexico's Grupo Lala, bought a 20.19
percent stake in the airline, boosting an existing stake.
Tricio now controls 20 percent of voting stock in the
company through his personal holdings and agreements with other
shareholders, Aeromexico said.
Grupo Lala, which is privately held and has not released
financial information, is believed to be among the world's top
Lala owns 18 milk factories in Mexico and 19 plants in the
United States, as well as 253 distribution centers across North
and Central America, according to a 2011 report on its charity
contributions, the latest available on its website.
Banamex, through several different transactions, sold shares
representing a 20.33 percent stake in the airline. The bank
retains 16.11 percent.
Aeromexico earlier said on Tuesday the bank sold 18.53
percent of its shares at 16.50 pesos, which would make that
stake worth $2.193 billion pesos ($172 million). Neither company
disclosed the price of the later transactions.
The airline's shares closed up 8.77 percent at 18.24 pesos.
Aeromexico's chief executive said last year that Citi could
sell its stake in the airline as the U.S. financial services
firm continues to unload non-core assets.