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Actinver Plans Mexican IPO in First Quarter, CEO Madero Says

Actinver SA, a Mexico City-based investment bank, plans to sell shares in an initial public offering in the first quarter, seeking to drum up underwriting business by setting a precedent for its clients to follow.

A sale would show companies needing capital that the equity market is a viable option in Mexico, where the last IPO was in June 2008, said Hector Madero, Actinver’s chief executive officer. He said Actinver is working with a “couple” companies that are considering share offerings.

“We want to provide access to mid-size companies, but the first statement has to be us,” Madero, 44, said in an interview in Mexico City. He said Actinver will sell shares to help open up the market even though it has no pressing need for the money.

A surge in kidnappings in Mexico is discouraging executives from taking their companies public, deepening an IPO drought sparked by the global credit crisis, Madero said. Mexico’s benchmark Bolsa stock index has climbed 32 percent this year, rebounding from a 24 percent slide in 2008.

Actinver, co-founded by Madero’s father in 1994, is “very close in a couple of deals” to underwrite IPOs, the CEO said. The firm co-led last month’s offering of 1.3 billion shares by Cemex SAB, the largest cement maker in the Americas.

The company is completing today the purchase of some of Prudential Financial Inc.’s Mexican assets. The Prudential units, which include a mutual fund business and a bank, bring Actinver’s assets to 109 billion pesos ($8.1 billion), according to Francisco Suarez, an equity strategist at the firm.

Banking License

Actinver acquired a banking license as part of the deal, allowing it to offer investment consulting services for individuals at a network of 70 offices around Mexico.

“We’re not going to be a bank that lends to institutions or corporations,” Madero said. “It’ll be a private bank with a retail business.”

The bank division will be headed by the CEO’s brother Alvaro Madero, currently the director of operations at Actinver.

In June Actinver launched a mutual fund with Brazil’s Itau Unibanco Holding SA in Mexico whose portfolio is mostly Brazilian stocks. Actinver is “very close” to a similar arrangement with a U.S. company, Madero said.

Mexico’s last initial share sale was Genomma Lab Internacional SAB’s $233.7 million offering in June 2008. There have been six IPOs in Mexico since the beginning of 2007, compared with 70 in Brazil, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg 06.10.2009

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