Following the water crisis in the city of Osorno last July, the Chilean company Aguas Andinas has announced the sale of its stake in Essal, the sanitation subsidiary that operates in the regions of Los Ríos and Los Lagos.
According to Infogate, Aguas Andinas said that its board of directors has agreed to begin the sale of the company’s 53.5% stake in Essal. For now, there is no interest in acquiring the shares and there is no information on the effect the consolidation of the sale operation could have on the company’s results.
It should be remembered that Essal is currently facing a legal process that could cause it to lose its concession, after the firm had the city of Osorno without water supply for over one week. Nevertheless, despite Essal’s poor management in the Chilean city last summer, Aguas Andinas has said through a statement that the reason it is looking to shed its stake in Essal is to “focus its business activity on its current strategic priorities.”
Likewise, the company stated that it is currently “in a complex scenario” due to climate change and severe drought, which is affecting central Chile, reported País Lobo. These challenges require actions in the present and future and Aguas Andinas, as well as its controlling shareholder Suez-Agbar (via Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas) “has full confidence in the future of the country, in its development and economic growth beyond the current situation.”
The company, which acquired part of the sanitary firm Essal through a takeover bid in July 2008, increased its share value by nearly 4% after the announcement.