Gas Natural Said Among Final Bidders in IFM's Pacific Hydro Sale

  • Final bids for renewable energy company are due Friday
  • Assets in Latin America, Australia may be sold separately

Spanish distributor Gas Natural SDG SA and Norwegian state power generator Statkraft AS are planning final bids for Pacific Hydro Pty’s Latin American renewable energy assets, people with knowledge of the matter said.

U.S.-based AES Corp. is also preparing an offer for Pacific Hydro’s Latin American plants by the Friday deadline, while buyout firm Pacific Equity Partners Pty is planning to submit a binding bid for the company’s Australian projects, the people said. The two sets of assets may fetch more than A$2 billion ($1.5 billion) combined, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.

IFM Investors Pty, which invests money for Australian pension funds, this year began a process to sell Pacific Hydro, which owns 19 assets in Australia, Chile and Brazil. The business expects to generate more than A$175 million this year in normalized asset earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, according to a sale document obtained by Bloomberg in July.

IFM may sell Pacific Hydro’s Latin American and Australian operations separately, though it could still select a single buyer for the entire business, the people said. 

Spokesman for Gas Natural and Statkraft declined to comment, while representatives for IFM and Pacific Equity Partners said they couldn’t immediately comment. A spokeswoman for AES declined to comment.

AES fell 7 cents to $9.54 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 3:13 p.m. Gas Natural fell 2.1 percent to close at 19.95 euros in Madrid.

Gas Natural, which has a market value of 20.5 billion euros ($21.7 billion), is Spain’s third-largest gas and power company by market value and has more than 20 million customers in 25 nations, according to its website. The Barcelona-based company operates in Brazil and Mexico and last year bought Chilean power producer Cia. General de Electricidad SA.

Statkraft, Europe’s largest renewable energy generator, operates in more than 20 countries including Germany, Brazil, Peru and the U.K., according to its website. It owns half of Pacific Hydro’s La Higuera and La Confluencia hydro plants in Chile. AES, based in Arlington, Virginia, has a Chilean unit that generates more than 5,000 megawatts from coal, gas and hydro, according to its website.

Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG are advising IFM on the sale.

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