Villar Mir Said to Weigh Sale of $1 Billion in Energy Assets

  • OHL’s parent company said to seek buyers for hydraulic plants
  • Assets may draw interest from buyout firms, energy companies

Grupo Villar Mir, the Spanish industrial conglomerate that owns Obrascon Huarte Lain SA, is considering a sale of its hydroelectric assets as the group works to raise cash and reduce debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

The assets, which include 14 hydraulic plants in Spain and France with total installed capacity of 210 megawatts, could fetch about $1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The assets may draw interest from energy companies and private equity firms, the people said. The company is in the early stages of considering a sale and no final decisions have been made, they said.

A representative for closely held Villar Mir didn’t have an immediate comment.

The company was founded in 1987 by Juan-Miguel Villar Mir, former vice president and treasury department minister in the first government to be formed under Spain’s restored monarchy. The company owns assets in sectors including energy, fertilizers, real estate and infrastructure.

OHL, Villar Mir’s biggest business, has been selling assets including its minority stake in toll-road operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA to reduce debt. In August, OHL shares slumped to a 13-year low after Moody’s Investors Service cut the company’s ratings and warned about a significant earnings decline and rising debt.

Villar Mir reported net income of 60 million euros ($67 million) on sales of 7.25 billion euros at the end of 2015. OHL represented about 60 percent of sales and 90 percent of profit. The company’s long-term liabilities were of 8.8 billion euros as of the end of last year. Its cash flow was 625 million euros.

OHL shares rose 2.5 percent to 3.88 euros at 2:44 p.m. in Madrid Thursday.

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