UPDATE 1-Spain's Gas Natural divides Chile's Gasco, keeps natural gas assets
MADRID Dec 18 (Reuters) - Spain's Gas Natural said on Friday it was dividing its Chilean affiliate Gasco into two parts, keeping the natural gas assets.
The Spanish energy company said it had agreed with fellow Gasco shareholder the Perez Cruz family to spin off Gasco's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business into a separate company which will be controlled by the Perez Cruz family while Gas Natural will retain the natural gas business.
Shares in Gasco jumped 20 percent on the news.
Gas Natural owns 57 percent of Gasco while the Perez Cruz family holds 22 percent.
After the split, Gas Natural said it will launch a takeover bid for all the shares in Gasco's natural gas business it does not already own while the Perez Cruz family will launch a bid for the rest of the LPG business.
Gas Natural has agreed to sell its part of the LPG business to the Perez Cruz family and vice versa, it said.
Under the agreement, each share in the LPG business will be valued at 2,100 Chilean pesos ($3.01) while each share in the natural gas business will be valued at 3,200 pesos.
Once the transaction is completed, expected during 2016, Gas Natural said it may propose merging its businesses in Chile - Gas Natural Fenosa Chile, the natural gas business of Gasco and electricity distributor Compania General de Electricidad - to improve operational efficiency.
It said it did not expect the sale of the LPG business to have a significant impact on its profits.
($1 = 698.0200 Chilean pesos) (Reporting by Paul Day; editing by Adrian Croft and Elaine Hardcastle)
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