Isagen SA (ISAGEN), operator of Colombia’s largest hydropower plant, rose the most in four years after President Juan Manuel Santos said the government was boosting by 12 percent the minimum price for the stake it’s selling.
The shares gained 7.5 percent to 3,140 pesos at 10:53 a.m. in Bogota, after earlier reaching a record intraday high of 3,160 pesos. The stock was the best performer on the benchmark Colombian Colcap index, which increased 0.6 percent.
Colombia raised the base price for its majority stake in Medellin-based Isagen to 3,178 pesos per share, from a minimum of 2,850 pesos set in July when the sale plan was disclosed. At the higher price, the government’s 57.66 percent stake would be worth 5 trillion pesos ($2.6 billion).
“The price was raised thanks to the immense appetite and interest that we’ve seen from Colombian and foreign companies,” Santos said yesterday. The government set the new minimum using several valuation methodologies, according to a statement.
Potential buyers include Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) and France’s GDF Suez (GSZ) SA, Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said in July. Medellin-based Grupo Argos SA and Bogota-based Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA (EEB) have said they also intend to bid.
The shares had dropped from a previous record of 3,105 pesos in September on speculation that the sale wouldn’t go forward or that it might face delays amid opposition from former President Alvaro Uribe, who says fully privatizing the company would make electricity service less reliable.
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