Mexico's Casa Saba seeks to buy Chile's FASA

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican holding company Grupo Casa Saba said on Tuesday it is launching an offer to take control of Chilean pharmaceutical chain FASA by buying up to $455 million in stock.

Executives from both companies approved the deal, which is subject to approval from regulators.

The deal also includes the additional assumption of $162 million in debt and would create a distribution chain with 1,500 drug stores across Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Peru with estimated revenues of around $4 billion, Saba said in a statement.

Saba SAB.MX said it would pay 1.642 Chilean pesos for each of the 150 million shares of FASA FAS.SN in circulation. The offer is contingent on receiving at least 51 percent of total shares, the statement said.

Saba shares were unchanged on the Mexican exchange, while FASA shares edged up 0.06 percent to 1651 Chilean pesos. FASA stock had jumped 3 percent on news of the deal before trading was briefly suspended.

Saba will fund the share tender offer with cash and a loan from HSBC, which is advising on the bid.

Executives from the company were not immediately available for comment.

($1 = 541 Chilean pesos)

Reporting by Michael O’Boyle and Gabriela Lopez in Monterrey, editing by Gerald E. McCormick