Scotiabank closes US$1B deal for 51% stake in Colombian bank

The Bank of Nova Scotia said Wednesday it closed its acquisition of 51% of Colombian bank Banco Colpatria, a cash and stock deal it said was worth about US$1bn when it announced it in October.

Scotiabank said it will pay US$500m in cash along with 10 million common shares for the stake in the bank, which, as of November 2011, had assets of US$6.4bn and deposits of US$4.4bn.

Mercantil Colpatria, a banking, construction and investment company, retains 48.7% ownership in the bank, Colombia's fifth largest financial group, according to Scotiabank.

Scotiabank's has had a presence in South and Central America for more than 40 years, but its first foray into Colombia came in 2010 with its acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland's wholesale banking operation there.

Banco Colpatria has 175 branches and 308 ATMs in Colombia.

Shares of Scotiabank closed at $51.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

(Published by Financial Post - January 18, 2012)

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