BOGOTA, July 18 Colombia's biggest food processor, Nutresa, announced on Thursday it would buy Chile's 120-year-old Tresmontes Lucchetti food and beverage producer for $758 million, expanding the Colombian company's international presence.
Nutresa, controlled by the Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno conglomerate, said it would finance the takeover of Chile's second-largest and privately held food processor with cash and a bank loan and complete the transaction by October.
"This acquisition expands Grupo Nutresa's frontiers to Chile, a market that has a high level of food consumption per capita, is solid, profitable and stable economically and institutionally," Nutresa said in a statement.
Nutresa said it was paying the equivalent of 12.6 times the Chilean company's 2012 EBITDA, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Tresmontes Lucchetti has nine production plants in Chile and one in both Peru and Argentina.
The takeover will expand Nutresa's presence to 15 countries in North, Central and South America as well as Malaysia. The company said the purchase would also enable it to achieve earlier its goal of tripling sales between 2005 and 2015.
Nutresa's shares were trading 0.4 percent higher at 24,700 pesos on Thursday. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Kenneth Barry)