Colombian company Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EMP) wants to start the process of selling its Chilean water unit, Aguas de Antofagasta, for about USD 1 billion, informs Bloomberg.
In mid-May, Lazar, as EPM’s financial advisor, will invite companies to present their offers to purchase Aguas de Antofagasta. The final bidder is expected to be known next September.
EPM decided to sell part of its assets after a delay in the commissioning of its hydropower project in Ituango, Colombia, worth USD 4 billion, due to construction problems. In 2018, EPM refinanced about USD 430 million in debt of Aguas de Antofagasta, by expanding existing credit lines. The Colombian company seeks to reduce its leverage ratio from 3.8 to 3.3 by 2021 with the sale of the Chilean unit, which it bought in 2015 for USD 965 million.
Aguas de Antofagasta does business in the mining area of northern Chile. Potential offerors will include international water companies such as Suez, Thames Water and Anglian Water, Latin American companies such as Aguas Andinas, infrastructure funds such as BlackRock and Toesca Asset Management, Canadian pension funds and Chinese companies.