(Recasts with Wal-Mart announcing, adds stake-holder comment)
SANTIAGO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. retailing mammoth Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Friday it launched an all-cash offer to buy Chile’s biggest supermarket chain, D&S DIS.SNDYS.N, setting itself up to gain a major foothold in one of Latin America’s most competitive retail markets.
D&S, Chile’s biggest supermarket chain, said in a statement to the Chilean bourse late on Friday that the offer would be made within 10 days and was for $0.408 per share. It was being made in the name of Inversiones Australes Tres Limitada, a unit of Wal-Mart.
The offer was also for $24.48 per ADR, equivalent to 60 D&S shares each.
D&S controlling shareholders Felipe and Nicolas Ibanez Scott have committed the sale of 23.4 percent of the company to the deal initially, but will remain owners of a 40 percent stake, D&S said.
Wal-Mart said the offer represented a premium of about 37.4 percent over the average closing price for the prior 30 trading days.
“We are taking an important step here ... we will focus in this stage on creating a great new drive for the company, linked to a global presence,” said Felipe Ibanez, controlling shareholder and D&S president.
If completed, the deal would give Wal-Mart a foothold in Chile’s highly competitive retail market.
“This will mark a new era in Chilean retail, with more competition, new, more sophisticated products and more services,” a Chilean buy-side analyst told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Earlier this year Chile’s anti-trust tribunal nixed a proposed takeover of D&S by regional retailer Falabella FAL.SN. (Reporting by Pav Jordan; Editing by Gary Hill, Toni Reinhold)