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The Gilinskis, about to take control of Nutresa


A measure by the Superintendency of Companies would prevent the representatives of the insurer Sura and the cement company Argos from voting at the meeting of the food company on March 31

The dispute between the Gilinski family and dozens of small shareholders for control of the largest business conglomerate in the country, Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño (GEA), is about to get tough.

A new conflict broke out this week after the assembly of Nutresa, one of the main GEA companies and one of the largest food companies in Latin America.

This time it has been the Superintendency of Companies, in charge of monitoring the vast majority of companies in Colombia, which has stirred up chess.

The regulator announced that, following a lawsuit filed by the Cali banking family, it has granted a precautionary measure that prevents the representatives of Grupo Argos and Grupo Sura, two of the jewels in the GEA crown, from participating in the election of the new Nutresa's board of directors on March 31.

The decision is based on avoiding conflicts of interest: since the firms have cross-shareholdings among themselves, it can be understood that the presidents of companies who choose the members of the boards of directors of others are defining their own bosses.

Beyond this argument, with the measure, the family led by Jaime Gilinski, who has 31% of Nutresa's shares, could lead a modification of the board with the majority election of candidates from his line.

A move that, in fact, goes against the decision taken by the assembly this Tuesday, in which Sura and Argos did participate, and where it was decided to modify the statutes to extend the period to two years and preserve the current composition for a year more.

Jaime Gilinski at the headquarters of one of his companies in Madrid (Spain), in November 2022.Luis Sevillano

At that meeting the Gilinskis did not have a majority.

The result led to the resignation from the board of Christian Murrle, an independent member but elected as part of a Gilinski cast.

The Sura insurance group and the Argos cement company have informed, for their part, that they will challenge the official of the Superintendence of Companies who signed the decision, Carlos Gerardo Mantilla.

The argument of the legal representatives of the Antioquia companies is that Mantilla, delegate superintendent of corporate supervision, already had a previous opinion on this matter.

They support it in that it was the same lawyer who, in August of last year, consulted the Financial Superintendency if the main GEA companies belonged to "the same control structure or business group."

An investigation by journalist Daniel Coronell, broadcast by W Radio, revealed this Wednesday that the complaint filed with Supersociedades was filed by a mysterious Panamanian company called Campbelltown S. De RL According to the report, among the only two extras as registered partners of The company was Jaime Gilinski, 64, the third richest man in Colombia and one of the twenty richest in Latin America.

In a statement, Grupo Sura stated that it rejects the "litigious" strategy of blocking an essential right such as voting in one of its strategic investments, a right that it has exercised with full responsibility and transparency for more than 40 years based on the general interest. of the company and one hundred percent of its shareholders.

Control of Nutresa, a key player due to its financial valuation within a conglomerate that does not have a majority shareholder or its own legal status and also due to its strong position in the food industry, has until now been an elusive objective for the Gilinskis.

But it is by no means a losing battle.

After seven takeover bids (OPA) launched for shares of it and other GEA companies, and more than 2,900 million dollars disbursed, the tycoons from Cali are exploring new paths to reach the goal.

They do it together with their Arab partner Tahnoon Bin Zayed, a 52-year-old prince, director of the secret services of the United Arab Emirates and one of the major stakeholders in gaining control of the food group.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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