Brazil-based bank Itaú Unibanco, along with its subsidiary Banco Itaú Chile (BIC), has entered into an agreement to purchase CorpBanca for approximately $3.7bn.

The purchase of CorpBanca will allow BIC to expand its retail banking business in Chile as well as in Colombia.

As part of the deal, Itaú Unibanco or one of its subsidiaries will invest $652m in BIC and will merge it with CorpBanca to form Itaú CorpBanca, which will be 33.58% owned by Itaú Unibanco and 32.92% by Corp Group.

The deal will also see the integration of Itaú BBA Colômbia into the operations of Itaú CorpBanca or one if its subsidiaries.

The merged entity, Itaú CorpBanca, will use BIC’s assets and operations and CorpBanca’s experience to offer its clients a wide range of financial products and services through 217 branch network in Chile and 172 in Colombia.

Itaú Unibanco Latin America businesses head, Ricardo Marino, was quoted by Reuters as saying that this is a stepping stone towards business opportunities in Chile, Colombia, Peru, Central America.

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The deal, which is subject to compliance with certain conditions including CorpBanca’s shareholders’ approval and regulatory approvals in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, is expected to be closed by the end of 2014.