Mexico: Compartamos to Buy 82.7% of Peruvian Lender for $63mln

Mar 2011
Lima, Peru, March, 28 2011 - Mexican microfinance lender Compartamos SAB said Monday it plans to acquire an 82.7% stake in Peruvian lender Financiera Creditos Arequipa SA for about $63 million as it pursues its goal of expanding in Mexico and abroad.

Compartamos, Mexico's largest microfinance lender, said the deal is expected to close in the second quarter, and that it won't need to issue equity to finance the transaction, according to a Dow Jones Newswire report.

Financiera Crear, as the Peruvian microfinance company is called, had 87,302 customers at the end of 2010, 24 branches of which 11 are in Lima and 13 in Arequipa, and a loan portfolio of $130 million, Compartamos said.

"In Peru, we are witnessing a mature financial sector, as well as a potential market for group loans, which is currently underserved," Compartamos Executive President Carlos Labarthe said in the release.

The planned acquisition sets in motion Compartamos's international expansion. In December, Compartamos swapped shares in its bank Banco Compartamos for shares in the new holding company to add flexibility in the event of acquisitions.

Compartamos said Peru's financial and microfinance sector is developing rapidly, and estimated the South American country has a potential market for group loans of 1.2 million women. Most of Compartamos's micro loans in Mexico are made to women.

Compartamos specializes in small working-capital loans, averaging around MXN5,000 ($417), to people who have little or no access to traditional bank credit. It also grants home-improvement loans, and offers life insurance policies. The company's shares closed up 0.9% Monday on the Mexican stock exchange at 21.30 pesos.

Source : Andina

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