Business Briefs

By bogotapost January 21, 2016

Isagen ColombiaBrookfield buys controlling stake in Colombian power generator, Isagen

The long running saga of the auction of Medellín-based power generator, Isagen – which owns six power plants and generates almost 17% of the country’s energy – drew to a close on January 13.

The Colombian government’s 57.6% stake in the country’s third largest energy company went under the hammer with only one bidder, Canadian investment fund Brookfield Asset Management.

Brookfield paid the expected COP$4,130 per share to buy a controlling stake in the company, totalling COP$6.48 trillion (almost USD$2 million).

The investment fund specialises in alternative investments such as renewable energy, and already has a foothold in Colombia with the Empresa de Energia de Boyacá, which it bought in 2011.

The privatisation plan has faced a high level of opposition from many sides – including the Liberal Party who are part of the ruling coalition. The controversial sale has already been suspended twice, due to legal challenges put forward by campaigners.

The cash from the deal will be used to fund Colombia’s ambitious Fourth Generation highway building plan – which President Santos argues could create tens of thousands of jobs and encourage greater economic growth.

In September 2015, a court decision lifted the suspension on the sale and gave the government four months to complete the process.

In December, the government upped the price by 21.5% to COP$4,130 per share.

The other interested party, Chile’s Colbun, pulled out on January 11, citing the higher minimum price and the new deadlines.

Full of beans

The National Federation of Coffee Growers announced that Colombia’s harvest for 2015 totalled 14.2 million bags of 60 kilos – the largest in 23 years.

The news comes as Nestlé subsidiary Nespresso announce that they will stop buying beans from parts of Antioquia. The company stressed that it will continue to by the same total volume from Colombia, but said it needed to focus on producers and regions that better fit the bean profiles their consumers want.

Fizz injection

Air Liquide is expanding into Colombia with a carbon dioxide plant in Tocancipá, Cundinamarca. The unit will support Coca Cola FEMSA’s largest Colombian bottling unit.