Chile's CorpBanca says Itau merger deal undervalues it

miércoles 13 de mayo de 2015 21:38 GYT

SANTIAGO May 13 (Reuters) - Chilean bank CorpBanca said a deal with Brazil's Itau Unibanco last year now considerably undervalues it, casting fresh doubt on the troubled merger between the two Latin American lenders.

In a letter to the local regulator on Wednesday evening, CorpBanca said that solid results over the last year, plus a weak performance at the local arm of Itau, meant there was a shortfall of some $1 billion between the price agreed in January 2014 and its current value.

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, executives said at the time.

But it has faced stiff opposition from minority shareholder Cartica, who argued among other complaints that it undervalued CorpBanca, controlled by Chilean billionaire Alvaro Saieh.

Last week, Itau sweetened a dividend payout proposal for the minority shareholders in a bid to speed up completion.

"Although this (proposal) is a step in the right direction on the part of Itau, it doesn't correct the difference in valuation...which continues being significant," said CorpBanca.

The bank said it had hired Citibank to carry out a new fairness opinion over the course of May. (Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien and Antonio de la Jara; Editing by Ken Wills)