INVESTIGATION: What ever happened to Ashmore Energy’s “50%” of Transredes?
SAEM – One of the biggest mysteries when Ashmore Energy International’s (AEI) purchased another 25% interest of transporter Transredes of Bolivia from Shell on May 28, 2007 is why the deal never took place.
Shell’s as well as AEI’s statement clearly point out:
Transredes Transporte de Hidrocarburos S.A. (Transredes), a natural gas and liquids pipeline company in Bolivia providing domestic and export gas and liquids transportation and services (AEI’s share to increase from 25% to 50%).
Shell (May 30, 2007):
Shell and AEI currently own equity in the assets in the transaction, which include,
Transredes Transporte de Hidrocarburos S.A. (TRSA), a natural gas and liquids pipeline company in Bolivia providing domestic and export hydrocarbon transportation and services (Shell share 25%).
This, however, never happened. AEI always retained a 25% interest in Transredes and never bothered to state why it did not raise its ownership to 50%.
AEI did not comment on the matter. A Bolivian hydrocarbons ministry official, however, told SAEM last year, when the government agreed to pay $120.57 million, or the same amount for Shell’s 25% interest in the transporter, that no change in Transredes’ ownership had ever taken place.
“The government did not stop the acquisition nor found any evidence in Transredes’ files that it had ever taken place,” the ministry source said. “Transredes promised that it would carry out big investments in Bolivia but never did.”
Why did AEI and Shell state that they had reached an agreement but never gave any explanation? This is one of the greatest unanswered mysteries of AEI’s brief stay in Bolivia.
AEI had originally acquired in September 2006 a 25% foothold in Transredes thourgh its $2.9 billion purchase of bankrupt Enron’s assets in Latin America through holding company Prisma Energy International.