Grupo Calleja, a major player in the Salvadoran retail sector, has recently taken a substantial step in expanding its influence by acquiring a controlling interest in Grupo Exito, a leading retail group in Colombia. This strategic move, marking a new chapter for both companies, was finalized after a successful public acquisition offer (OPA) in Colombia and the United States. As a result, Grupo Calleja now holds 86.51% of Grupo Exito’s shares.
Grupo Calleja, renowned for its dominance in El Salvador with the Super Selectos brand, now wants to make a substantial impact in the Colombian retail sector. This expansion not only signifies Grupo Calleja’s growth but also represents a significant shift in regional retail dynamics.
Final Stages of the Share Acquisition
In the concluding phase of the OPA, Grupo Calleja secured an additional 21.41% of Grupo Exito’s ordinary shares, amounting to 1.297 billion shares. The final day of this phase saw 320 acceptances, representing 1.38% of the shares (17 million shares). The formal completion of this acquisition process is slated for January 25.
In a parallel move in the United States, Grupo Calleja acquired 65.1% of Grupo Exito’s social capital, encompassing over 845 million ordinary shares. This includes 55 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) previously under the control of Grupo Casino, a French retailer undergoing financial reorganization. Grupo Casino, through its Brazilian subsidiary Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição – GPA, was the principal shareholder of Grupo Exito before this acquisition.
Impact on the Retail Market
This acquisition has significantly reduced Grupo Exito’s floating shares, from 53% to 13.5%. The OPA in Colombia, initiated on December 19, aimed to acquire a minimum of 51% of Grupo Exito’s shares. Grupo Calleja surpassed this target, with the shares valued at $0.9053 each.
Grupo Calleja’s market presence in El Salvador, particularly in the food sector, is substantial, with a market share nearing 60% and a workforce of over 12,000. Grupo Exito, on the other hand, reported sales during the same period totaled $4.9 trillion, marking a 5% increase.
This acquisition is more than a mere expansion for Grupo Calleja; it represents a strategic integration of expertise and market presence. Grupo Calleja’s entry into the Colombian market through Grupo Exito is expected to introduce new strategies and perspectives.