Scotiabank submits bid to buy Chilean banking interest for $2.9 billion

TORONTO - Scotiabank says it has submitted an offer to buy a majority stake in a Chilean bank for $2.9 billion.

Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) seeks to acquire Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.'s (BBVA) shares in its Chilean banking operation, BBVA Chile.

The Canadian bank, which releases its quarterly results early Tuesday, says BBVA is willing to accept the deal if its minority partner, the Said family, does not exercise its right of first refusal under a shareholders agreement.

BBVA currently owns 68.19 per cent of BBVA Chile and the Said family owns 31.62 per cent.

The transaction would double Scotiabank's market share in Chile to approximately 14 per cent and would be in line with Scotiabank's strategy to increase scale within Chile and the Pacific Alliance countries.

Should the deal go through, it would make Scotiabank the third largest non-state owned bank in the South American country.

BBVA Chile has $29 billion in assets and has 4,000 employees at 127 branches.

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