Itaú, CorpBanca change merger terms, see deal ready next year

miércoles 3 de junio de 2015 10:29 GYT

SAO PAULO, June 3 (Reuters) - Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Chile's CorpBanca SA agreed to modify terms of an agreement to merge some of their Chilean operations, seeking to win shareholder approval ahead of a June 26 meeting.

Under the revamped terms of the merger between Itaú's Chile unit and CorpBanca, the latter will be allowed to distribute $400 million in dividends on top of a payout already approved in March, according to a joint securities filing. In addition, Itaú Chile cut its own dividend by about 38 percent to $43.5 million.

The changes, which also include a clause allowing both banks to pay as much as 50 percent of their 2015 earnings next year out as dividends, aim to speed up the completion of the merger.

Itaú, Latin America's largest lender by market capitalization and CorpBanca, which is controlled by billionaire Alvaro Saieh, expect to complete the transaction by January but said the merger would be formally finalized as late as May 2, 2016.

The deal, which if completed would be Latin America's largest banking combination since 2008, was set to create a new venture worth some $8 billion and allowing Itaú to enter the Colombian, Peruvian and Chilean retail banking markets. Both lenders announced their intention to combine some of their operations in February 2014. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal Editing by W; Simon)