The Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) raised US$984 million last week by selling its 29.98% stake in the country’s main water utility, Aguas Andinas SA.
The sale on the Santiago Stock Exchange transferred 1.83 billion shares of Aguas Andinas for 250 Chilean pesos (53 cents) each.
Forty-nine percent of the sale (14.68%) was bought by individual local investors. Local investment institutions bought 25% of the shares (7.37% of the company) and foreigners bought 26% (7.79% of the company).
The government kept a 5% stake in the company to maintain veto power in decisions about mortgages and waters rights and transfers.
The government announced in late 2010 that CORFO would also sell 95% of its stock in three other water utilities: Essbio SA, Esval SA and Essal SA. CORFO currently holds 43.4%, 29.4% and 45.5% stakes in the respective companies.
The company plans to sell its holdings in Essbio and Esval in July. The Essal sale date is unknown.
CORFO said it intended to use the proceeds to provide credit for small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and to build lines three and six of Santiago’s Metro system beginning in 2012.
After the sale, Aguas Andinas stock went down slightly.
By Erin Allen – The Santiago Times