Buys out Blackstone stake in GNPower coal-fired facilities
MANILA, Philippines – The Aboitiz Group is acquiring beneficial interests from Blackstone Group-affiliated investment funds in two GNPower coal-fired power plants in Bataan for about $1.2 billion to meet its 4,000-megawatt (MW) capacity target in the next five years.
Aboitiz Power Corp. announced yesterday its wholly owned unit Therma Power Inc. has finalized the purchase and sale agreements for the acquisition of the partnership interests held by affiliated investment funds of The Blackstone Group – World Power Holdings L.P. and Sithe Global Power L.P. – in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. and GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co., respectively.
Therma Power is the Aboitiz Group’s holding firm for investments in non-renewable energy.
Under the deal, Therma Power will hold an indirect effective interest of 66.1 percent in GNPower Mariveles and 40 percent in GNPower Dinginin for $1.197 billion, subject to certain adjustments and approvals by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Board of Investments (BOI).
The company has already filed a notification with the PCC, the country’s anti-trust body.
“We have to go through PCC for clearance which we hope will not be a problem,” AboitizPower president and COO Antonio Moraza said in a text message.
AboitizPower said the acquisition cost would be funded by a combination of internally-generated cash and financing from foreign banks.
It said it has signed a facility agreement with The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., DBS Bank Ltd., The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd., Maybank Kim Eng Securities Pte. Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank for a loan of up to $650 million to partially fund the purchase.
GNPower Mariveles owns the 604-MW subcritical coal-fired power plant which started operations in 2014.
Meanwhile, GNPower Dinginin is the project company for the proposed 2×668-MW supercritical coal-fired power project also in Bataan. The first unit is currently under development and is targeted for commercial operations by 2019.
AboitizPower CEO Erramon Aboitiz said the acquisition of the plants would increase the attributable capacity of AboitizPower, with the possibility of further expansion, to meet its target of 4,000 MW by 2020.
“We consider this acquisition very strategic as it gives us immediate earnings from the operating asset and incremental capacity in the coming years from the plant under construction and its expansion. We are likewise looking forward to the completion of our pipeline projects, which include more baseload capacity as well as renewables,” he said.
AboitizPower has investments in various thermal and renewable power generating facilities with a total net sellable capacity of 3,350 MW with its partners.
AboitizPower was among the bidders for Sithe’s sale, which was launched earlier this year. Other bidders included a group comprising Kuwait Investment Authority, private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, a consortium of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Malaysian power company Malakoff Corp. and an infrastructure investment fund managed by Macquarie Group Ltd., Bloomberg said in a report.
Other partners in both plants are AC Energy Holdings Inc. of the Ayala Group and US-based GN Power, owned by Nauruan-American firm Power Partners Ltd. Co.
(The Philippine Star) | Updated October 5, 2016 – 12:00am