OTPP completes US$564mn Essbio, Esval purchase

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) has successfully bid to increase its stake in two Chilean water utilities, auctioned Friday (Jul 15) by state development agency Corfo, OTPP said in a release.

The organization now controls 89.6% of Essbio and 94.2% of Esval. Corfo retains a 5% share in each of the utilities to maintain its veto power over operations involving water rights transfers and concessions.

OTPP paid a total of 261bn pesos (US$564mn) for the shares.

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"As long-term investors, we are attracted by the ability of these two companies to generate predictable returns over many years to help meet the plan's pension obligations," said Stephen Dowd, senior VP of OTPP's infrastructure group.

OTPP purchased 24.4% of Esval for US$227mn and 38.4% of Essbio for US$330mn, paper Diario Financiero reported.


On June 15, Chile's government collected some US$984mn in the sale of its 30% stake in the country's largest water utility, Aguas Andinas.

Of the total proceeds of the two sales, US$250mn will be used to finance Corfo credit programs for small and medium sized companies and another US$250mn to maintain the entity's investments for future projects, the paper reported.

Some US$600mn of the proceeds will be allocated to state firms including Metro, which operates capital Santiago's subway, Metro de Valparaíso and Trenes Metropolitanos.

Corfo will complete its sale of a minority stake in the utility Essal in the coming months, the paper said.