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SBIF head: Regulator could approve Liverpool's purchase of Banco Ripley stake very soon

Chileanbanking regulator SBIF could give its approval in the coming weeks for Mexican departmentstore operator El Puerto de Liverpool S.A.B. de C.V. to acquire over 10% of 's shares, Pulso reported July 7, citing the head ofSBIF, Eric Parrado.

OnceSBIF receives all the required information, it could make a decision "verysoon," Parrado was quoted as saying.

Chileandepartment store operator Ripley Corp.SA, which also owns Banco Ripley and Banco Ripley Perú SA, announced July 5 that it has signedan agreement with Liverpool, which will launch a public offering for all of thecompany's shares within 10 working days of meeting certain conditions, includingobtaining SBIF's authorization.

Accordingto a July 5 securities filing, Liverpool must acquire 493.69 million shares, or25.5% of the company, for the deal to be declared a success and for a new RipleyCorp. shareholders agreement to come into effect.

Liverpoolwill pay 420 Chilean pesos per share of Ripley Corp., or a premium of about 25%above its book value. At the price offered by Liverpool, Ripley Corp. is valuedat around $1.26 billion, La Tercera reported.

Liverpoolplans to use Ripley to grow throughout the region, focusing mainly on Peru giventhat the Chilean market is already highly competitive, El Economista reported, citing Liverpool executives.

As of July 6, US$1 was worth 662.11Chilean pesos.