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Morgan Stanley Sells 50% Stake in Chile’s Grupo Saesa

A Morgan Stanley infrastructure fund sold its 50 percent stake in Inversiones Grupo Saesa Ltda., Chile’s second-largest electricity distributor, to Alberta Investment Management Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

Morgan Stanley’s MSIP bought Saesa in July 2008 with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Teachers’ will retain a 50 percent interest in Saesa after the sale, Morgan Stanley wrote in a statement distributed by Business Wire today.

“Our investment thesis for Saesa has been proven out, as we worked with the management team to implement operational changes and make additional investments that should allow Saesa to continue its strong growth,” MSIP Chief Investment Officer Sadek Wahba said in the statement.

Chile needs to double electricity capacity this decade to meet growing demand. President Sebastian Pinera aims to achieve average annual economic growth of 6 percent over his four-year term and shorten Chile’s path to becoming the region’s first advanced nation. Electricity demand probably will grow on average 6.7 percent through 2020, Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez said last month.

Saesa operates 53,500 kilometers (33,000 miles) of transmission and distribution lines and owns and operates about 190 megawatts of wind, hydro, diesel and gas electric-generating capacity, according to today’s statement.

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