International Holding Company has signed an initial agreement with various Colombian businesses as the Abu Dhabi conglomerate looks to expand its portfolio of assets in South America.
IHC Capital, a subsidiary of IHC, has joined forces with Grupo Nutresa, one of the biggest food processing companies in Colombia; Grupo Sura, a Latin American investment manager with a portfolio of investments focusing on financial services; Grupo Argos, a Colombian conglomerate with investments in the cement and energy industries; and other business shareholders, IHC said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
“The MoU [memorandum of understanding] sets forth the initial terms and conditions for a series of transactions between the parties,” IHC said on Thursday.
“Post the MoU being signed by all parties, IHC will exchange its 1.64 per cent shareholding in Grupo Sura for shares in Grupo Nutresa.”
The company made its foray into the Colombian market in October when IHC Capital invested Dh734 million ($200 million) to acquire a 49.99 per cent stake in Lulo Colombia, the holding company of the country's first regulated digital bank, Lulo Bank.
IHC, one of the most valuable UAE companies, said all “corporate and regulatory authorisations will be sought and obtained prior to the implementation of the transactions, including, but not limited to, the approval of the Colombian Superintendence of Finance and any other relevant authority”.
The company has investments in sectors including clean energy, food and agriculture, health care, real estate, information technology and artificial intelligence in nearly 20 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America.
The company reported a more than 63 per cent jump in its first-quarter net profit, driven by a strong performance across key business segments.
Net profit attributable to the owners of the company for the three months to the end of March reached Dh2.61 billion, up from Dh1.6 billion in the same period last year, IHC said. Its revenue for the first quarter grew by 50 per cent to Dh15.7 billion.
IHC is aggressively expanding its portfolio through local and global acquisitions as well as investments amid a strengthening dollar that gives it more financial muscle to secure deals.