Isagen Surges on Grupo Argos Interest for Stake: Bogota Mover

Isagen SA (ISAGEN), operator of Colombia’s largest hydroelectric plant, jumped the most in four years after cement and power-generating conglomerate Grupo Argos said it’s prepared to “pay well” for a stake the government is selling in the company.

Isagen gained 5.6 percent to 2,990 pesos at 12:03 p.m. in Bogota, the biggest increase since January 2009. It was the highest price since the government sold a portion of its stake in an initial public offering in 2007. The stock was the best performer today on the benchmark Colombian Colcap index, which rose 0.5 percent. Grupo Argos was the second-best performer, adding 3.1 percent.

The Colombian government announced July 29 that it would auction off its 57.66 percent Isagen stake for a minimum of 2,850 pesos a share, for a value of at least 4.5 trillion pesos ($2.4 billion). Grupo Argos Chief Executive Officer Luis Alberto Velez said in an interview with Blu Radio today that his company is prepared to pay “a bit more” than 4.5 trillion pesos.

“You have a potential buyer that is already saying I’m willing to pay more,” said Diego Usme, an analyst at Ultrabursatiles brokerage in Bogota.

Grupo Argos said in a regulatory filing yesterday that it would bid along with two subsidiaries, Celsia SA and Empresa de Energia del Pacifico SA. Celsia is an electricity generator while Empresa de Energia del Pacifico is a utility in western Colombia’s Valle del Cauca province.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Jaramillo in Bogota at ajaramillo1@bloomberg.net; Oscar Medina in Bogota at omedinacruz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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