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Chile's La Polar Falls Most in 7 Months After Merger Rejected

By Nathan Gill
     June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Empresas La Polar SA, Chile’s fourth-largest department store chain, sank the most in seven months after saying it rejected a merger offer from supermarket chain Omega SA.
     La Polar fell 6.4 percent to 1,960 pesos in Santiago trading, its steepest drop since Nov. 20. The stock jumped 24 percent from May 27 through June 26 after Omega, controlled by Southern Cross Latin America Private Equity Fund III LP, offered to merge its supermarkets with the retailer’s department stores.
     Santiago-based La Polar rejected the deal because it wouldn’t “generate synergies,” President Andres Ibanez said in a statement posted on the Web site of Chile’s regulator on June 26, after the market closed. The country’s stock market was closed yesterday for a holiday.
     “We’ll probably see a negative reaction in the shares,” Chile’s BCI Corredor de Bolsa wrote today in a note to clients. “Many investors were in the stock thinking about an eventual merger.”

     The decline pared La Polar’s gain since March 31 to 53 percent, its best quarterly performance since at least 2003.

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