© Reuters. FILE PHOTO:The logo of Nutresa is seen in Medellin, Colombia June 26, 2019. Picture taken June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Jaime Acosta/File Photo
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s attorney general opened an investigation into a failed public offer for shares of the country’s largest food processor Nutresa, the attorney general’s office reported Thursday evening.
Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company’s (IHC) bid for Nutresa shares was declared void last week after it failed to receive the minimum number of shares. The takeover bid process drew legal challenges from Nutresa’s top shareholders, investment company Grupo Sura and industrial conglomerate Grupo Argos, which declined to sell their shares, as well as Grupo Gilinski.
The attorney general’s office received two criminal complaints related to civil lawsuits filed by Grupo Sura and Grupo Argos, “which could configure acts of judicial corruption,” the office said in a statement Thursday night.
“Once the situation, its complexity and the seriousness of the facts were known, the attorney general’s office ordered the investigation through the Specialized Directorate against Corruption,” the statement added.
Before the completion of the takeover bid, Colombia’s Superintendency of Companies, responsible for inspection and oversight duties of businesses, ordered two Grupo Sura board members to refrain from participating in decisions related to the sale to IHC, after which the two officials resigned.
Since November 2021, Nutresa has been the target of a series of hostile offers from Grupo Gilinski and IHC.
Argos, Sura and Nutresa, together with other Colombian companies, make up Grupo Empresarial Antioqueno (GEA), the largest conglomerate in the South American country.