Peru : Pomalca Rises on Takeover Speculation of Sugar Producer

( Bloomberg)Peruvian sugar producer Empresa Agroindustrial Pomalca SA jumped the most since September on speculation a government transfer of shares to workers may lead to a takeover bid for the company.

Pomalca surged 14 percent to 67 centimos at 4:10 p.m. New York time, the biggest gain since Sept. 10.

The government will transfer shares in sugar producers including Pomalca to workers owed money by the companies, Mario Gonzalez, the director of state financing company Fonafe, said today in an interview with Lima-based Radio Programas.

The measure may lead an investor to make an offer to acquire a majority stake in the company, said Arlen Lahura, a trader at Lima-based brokerage Coril SAB.

“If the state transfers its Pomalca shares to the workers, a majority of the shares will be in the hands of third parties,” Lahura said. “It may allow a big investor to come in and make a bid for them.”

The transfer of the government’s stake will give 3,500 workers and retirees control of about 45 percent of Pomalca’s shares, said Pedro Luyando, a company spokesman, in a phone interview. Once the workers receive the shares, they will be unable to sell them for at least two years, he said.

The government measure will “reduce the debt the company owes to its workers,” said Luyando. “No one is talking about the sale of shares to a third party.”

Pomalca employees now hold about 12 percent of the company’s shares, he said.

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