The bank whose president is a former candidate of Javier Milei expands with an acquisition

Securities Bank (VALO)the bank created by Buenos Aires Stock Market (Merval) in 1978, announced a merger agreement for the absorption of Columbus and thus the first Argentine financial entity focused on corporate and institutional clients will be created.

The operation, which the VALO board of directors has already approved, is subject to the approval of the shareholders’ meetings of both companies and ad referendum of the authorization of the Central Bank and of the National Securities Commission (CNV).

VALO has Juan Nápoli as presidentone of the most important financiers in the country, who He was a candidate for senator for La Libertad Avanza (LLA) and advisor to Javier Milei. He lowered his profile after losing the election in October and becoming embroiled in a scandal on a trip to Sardinia, Italy.

With a degree in Business Administration from the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) and a master’s degree in Financial Asset Management from the Higher School of Economics and Business Administration (ESEADE), the libertarian businessman is also titular member of the Association of Argentine Banks (Adeba) and member of the Council of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

Juan Nápoli at the presidential inauguration of Javier Milei. Photo: Emmanuel Fernández

“I had an offer and I accepted because I believe that Milei is the only candidate who can carry out the transformations that Argentina needs. He knows how to do it; “He has knowledge and desire,” Nápoli had stated in June of last year, when he made his candidacy official.

The President’s financial representative, he was one of the first men on his team to participated in one of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bankin Morocco in October, before the general elections, where, in the end, he failed to obtain a seat.

For its part, Columbus was founded in 2004 by a team of bankers responsible for the investment banking business of the former Citigroup in Argentina and the region in the 90s. In 2018, integrated its operations with Zuma Advisors –firm created in 2009 by executives from Wealth Management and international investment banks – to create an investment banking group based in the City of Buenos Aires. Among them is Alexander Dillonfounding partner of Columbus.

VALO to absorb Columbus

VALO describes itself as the main financial fiduciary of Argentina, with more than 1,560 trusts issued; and the leading independent custodian of collective investment productswith more than 300 mutual funds in custody as of April 30.

If the transaction is approved, Columbus shareholders will receive common shares of VALO to be issued by a face value of $159,552,490which represents approximately 19% of its current outstanding share capital.

From left From left to right: Alejandro Dillon (founding partner of Columbus), Juan Nápoli (president of VALO), Norberto Mathys (vice president and CEO of VALO) and Raúl Lynch (partner of Columbus). Photo: VALO

Specifically, the corporate reorganization process involves the absorption by VALO of Columbus IB Valores SA and Columbus MB SA The first acts as a negotiation agent, with a wide portfolio of products and clients; meanwhile, the second is a firm specialized in providing advisory services related to corporate finance operations, and mergers and acquisitions.

Through the incorporation of Columbus, with more than 30 years in the sector, VALO will offer corporate finance operations, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial advice, purchase and sale of securities and financial assets, and transactions of all types of securities.

After the birth in 2017 of Argentine Stock Exchanges and Markets (BYMA), fruit of the split of Merval into two companies – BYMA, which, in association with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, continued with market activity; and the Grupo Financiero Valores SAwhich became the majority shareholder of VALO, with 99.99% of its shares – the bank began a transformation process that led it to become a company that offers financial services.

VALO was born in 1978 as part of Merval. Photo: VALOVALO was born in 1978 as part of Merval. Photo: VALO

Along these lines, VALO, which will seek to expand its presence in both Argentina and Uruguay – where has a headquarters in Montevideo–, spoke, in a statement to the CNV, of “a strategic decision aimed at further enhancing its growth and competitiveness in the financial and capital markets, and in line with its current global expansion policy.”

“The synergies and complementarity of the activities and technical and professional capabilities of both companies will allow VALO to multiply its business volumestrengthen its operations, expand its service offering and take advantage of new market conditions, enhancing its financial results,” he mentioned.

Likewise, he highlighted that he will be able to “provide more opportunities for growth and professional development for employeeswithout a significant increase in costs” and a higher level of efficiency, considering that “the projected evolution does not require significant expansions in the current structure.”

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