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UPDATE: Endesa bumps Ashmore Energy International for Southern Cross

July 6, 2007

It’s Endesa of Chile that has acquired CMS Energy’s 50% interest in troubled northern Chilean gas transporter and generator GasAtacama. Endesa has first option to buy the Michigan-based company’s interest.

CMS Energy had agreed June 1 with Ashmore Energy International (AEI) to sell for $80 million its 50% interest in GasAtacama. AEI had mentioned in a statement that it had agreed to purchase 50% of GasAtacama and 42.3% stake in Jamaica Private Power Company Limited (JPPC) for a combined $94 million.

I had mistakenly mentioned in previous stories on the deal $94 million for 50% of GasAtacama.

The AEI statement doesn’t give a breakdown of the deal. The $80 million sum that AEI aimed to pay was confirmed by sources close to the deal.

Endesa and CMS Energy now have three months to finalize the deal. At day’s end, it appears that Southern Cross Group will end up with 50% of GasAtacama and AEI, which is controlled by UK’s Ashmore Investment Management (AIM), will be left out in the cold.

This acquisition has got to be one of the strangest and most secretive that I’ve covered recently. There are no statements by the companies involved. If you get in touch with any of them, they’ll tell you off the record the score but in very general terms.

But yes, AEI is out and Southern Cross Group looks set to be the new 50% owner of GasAtacama.

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