May 19, 2017 / 11:29 PM / 3 months ago

Chile's Ripley and Mexico's Liverpool cancel merger

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The planned acquisition of Chilean retailer Ripley RIP.SN by Mexican high-end department store chain Liverpool (LIVEPOLC1.MX) has been scrapped, Ripley said in a regulatory filing late Friday.

"Ten months having passed since the announcement of the agreement, a series of geopolitical and economic changes in the countries and markets in which both parties operate have occurred, which brought this termination about," the company said.

In July 2016, Liverpool said it agreed to acquire a majority stake in Ripley for 813 billion Chilean pesos ($1.2 billion), which represented a premium of about 25 percent on Ripley's stock.

While analysts considered the price high, they saw room for Liverpool to improve business operations and add value to its takeover target. The two parties set an April 30 deadline to close the deal, but later extended that deadline to June 15.

Ripley said in the regulatory filing that the two companies would continue to evaluate "joint business opportunities in the future," though they would focus their efforts on their own projects for now.

Max David, chairman of Liverpool, echoed Ripley's sentiment in a statement sent shortly after the filing.

"Economic events out of our control have kept us from bringing in Ripley at this time," he said, while also noting the interest in joint business opportunities in the future.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Diane Craft and Leslie Adler

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