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Marubeni Buys Stake in Water Utility Serving Most-Congested Area

Marubeni Corp., Japan’s biggest non-utility investor in power generation, agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in Philippine company Maynilad Water Services Inc.

Maynilad purifies water and treats sewage in a part of Manila that houses 9.5 million people, the most congested area in the world, Tokyo-based Marubeni said today in a statement, without disclosing the financial terms of the deal. The stake may be sold for about $400 million, Isidro Consuji, president of Maynilad investor DMCI Holdings, said July 25.

The purchase will be Marubeni’s first in the Philippines water treatment and sewage business, adding to assets in the same industry in Chile, China, Peru and Australia. The Japanese trading house, in proportion to its equity stakes, services the water needs of about 6 million people globally, and targets expanding that to 10 million people, according to its website.

The power utilities and infrastructure unit has emerged as Marubeni’s biggest profit earner after mining and energy, accounting for 12.2 billion yen ($154 million) of the 105.3 billion yen in net income for the six months to Sept. 30.

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