Equity International exits Chilean mall company

The Chicago-based private equity real estate firm has sold 82m shares in Parque Arauco for $65m. Equity International originally paid $50m almost two years ago for a roughly 13% stake in the shopping mall developer.

Equity International has sold its stake in the Chilean shopping mall company Parque Arauco for an estimated $65 million.

The Chicago-based private equity real estate firm said in a statement today it sold 82 million shares to the Said Somavía and Said Yarur families. A local Reuters report in Santiago priced the deal at around $65 million, saying Equity International had sold its remaining 13.46 percent stake in Parque Arauco.

Equity International first invested in Santiago-based Parque Arauco in September 2006, paying $50 million for a 12.5 percent stake in the development and investment company, according to previous PERE reports.

At the time, Equity International chief executive officer Gary Garrabrant said in a prepared statement: “The South American retail sector offers a wealth of opportunities for us as we continue to seek investments in emerging markets.”

Parque Arauco has operations in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Colombia with ownership interests in more than 660,000 square metres of shopping malls and retail properties.

The Said family, which is now the largest shareholder in the development company, announced the deal on 7 July, according to Reuters, when Parque Arauco shares were trading at 473 Chilean pesos (€0.62; $0.89). Shares in the company were trading at around 337 pesos at the start of September 2006.