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Report: Minerva shelves planned IPO of Chilean unit again

Minerva SA is again abandoning its plan to list its Chilean unit Athena Foods SA amid financial and economic uncertainties in Argentina, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 16, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The Brazilian meatpacker in 2018 said it was considering an IPO for Athena Foods, but later shelved the plan due to the trade conflict between the U.S. and China.

In November 2019, Minerva CFO Edison Ticle told Reuters that the company was revisiting the planned IPO as operating prospects have improved. However, Ticle said at the time that the uncertainties with the economic policies of the newly elected, left-wing government in Argentina could make an IPO "inviable."

Athena Foods' business in Argentina accounts for about 30% of the company's revenue. The unit also operates in Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Bloomberg said Minerva's Brazilian peers, JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods SA and BRF SA, have also canceled plans to list their subsidiaries outside Brazil due to economic situations and industry crises.

The most recent stock-listing plan for Athena Foods would have raised $400 million for the company, which Minerva planned to use to reduce its debt, Bloomberg said. Minerva has instead launched a primary offering of 80 million of its common stock and a secondary offering of 15 million of its common stock. Minerva said in a Jan. 15 filing that it will price the offering Jan. 23.