Grupo Argos Will Not Participate in the Takeover Bid for Grupo SURA since the Price is Substantially Below the Fundamental Value of the Company

6 January 2022
  • The Board of Directors of Grupo Argos decided not to accept the bid, considering that the price of USD 8.01 per common share of Grupo Sura does not recognize the fundamental value of its operating companies or its portfolio investments.
  • Grupo Argos will promote initiatives aimed at maximizing the value for Grupo Sura’s shareholders and closing the gaps between the fundamental value of its businesses and what the stock market currently reflects.
  • The Board of Directors agreed to propose to the next Grupo Argos Shareholders Assembly to increase the dividend to COP 500 per share, which corresponds to an increase of more than 30%.

The Price Offered Does Not Recognize the Fundamental Value of Grupo Sura

The Board of Directors’ decision not to accept the bid for Grupo Sura’s common shares was based, among other considerations, on a technical analysis prepared by J.P. Morgan based on the following valuation methodologies: discounted free cash flow, cash flow from dividends and multiples of transactions and companies at regional and global level, both in the financial services sector and in the sectors to which Grupo Sura’s portfolio companies belong.

The price per share established in the takeover bid is equivalent to a multiple of the Price / Book Value of 0.68 times, which compared to other transactions in the sectors in which Grupo Sura participates in Latin America, whose average in the last 10 years has been above 2 times, evidences that the bid does not recognize the value of Grupo Sura.

In its deliberation, the Board of Directors took into account that in the last 10 years, Grupo Sura’s results measured by net profit multiplied 2.4 times, while its equity increased from COP19 trillion to COP 30 trillion. In addition, considering its vision as a long-term investor, the Board of Directors highlighted that the price of the common share has multiplied 21 times since 2001, representing a 19% annual return for Grupo Argos when dividends are included.

Today Grupo Sura provides services in 11 countries in the Americas and serves nearly 56 million customers with diversified business lines in financial services, insurance, health and asset management. In addition to its financial strength, Grupo Sura has consolidated a powerful platform that has demonstrated its value by the way in which the organization has dealt with different situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic in a timely and exemplary manner, as a great ally of all its stakeholders. This conscious action has had economic implications in the short term, but has also generated social benefits, customer loyalty and a great strength to continue generating economic value.

Continuity of Sustainability Management at Grupo Sura

Grupo Argos recognizes that Grupo Sura’s sustainability framework enables the generation of cash flows over time with a lower level of risk, which results in greater economic value

and durability of the company. Grupo Sura has stood out for its management in environmental, social and corporate governance matters, and for a clear commitment to generate value with all its stakeholders, which has made it a benchmark in its industry and positioned it as one of the global leaders in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Initiatives to Accelerate Value Creation in Grupo Sura

Grupo Argos, as a shareholder and subject to corporate governance, will promote initiatives aimed at maximizing value for Grupo Sura’s shareholders and closing the gaps between the fundamental value of the business and what the stock market reflects today.

Among these initiatives, the following stand out:

  • Support Grupo Sura in the search for and implementation of mechanisms to disclose fundamental value to its shareholders, considering alternatives such as listing on international stock exchanges and/or engaging strategic partners in the company or in its insurance and asset management businesses.
  • Increase profitability for shareholders with an adequate balance between investment for growth, debt reduction and dividend policy.
  • Promote mechanisms to continue consolidating the operational efficiencies and digitalization of its businesses achieved in recent years, with a view to maximizing the return on investment for its shareholders.

Grupo considers that the decision made by Bancolombia to separate the nequi business, which was recently announced and through which it will operate as a 100% digital credit establishment, is appropriate. This initiative will allow the acceleration of a business plan to reveal value to Bancolombia’s shareholders and, in this way, to Grupo Sura’s shareholders.

At the next Grupo Argos Shareholders Assembly, a Dividend of COP 500 Per Share will be Proposed, which Corresponds to an Increase of more than 30%.

In accordance with the action plan announced by the Board of Directors last December 6, and considering the good results expected for the end of 2021 and the improved business prospects, a dividend of COP 500 per share will be included in the profit sharing proposal that the President and the Board of Directors of Grupo Argos will submit to the consideration of its shareholders in February, which corresponds to an increase of more than 30% with respect to the dividend declared last year.

Grupo Argos will promote through corporate governance bodies, as a shareholder of Grupo Sura and Grupo Nutresa, the review of the dividend policies of these companies in favor of their shareholders.