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Colombia’s Ecopetrol acquires stake in ISA
Colombia’s state-owned oil Company Ecopetrol has acquired a 51.4% stake in Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA).
Through the transaction, Ecopetrol has acquired 569,472,561 shares of Interconexión Eléctrica, or 51.4% of the outstanding shares of the company, at a price of 25,000 pesos ($6.34) per share, bringing the total cost of the operation to 14.23 billion pesos ($3.61 billion).
Ecopetrol’s purchase of the stake in ISA had been proposed by the state oil company in January when, as part of its planned transformation into a comprehensive energy company, it made a non-binding offer for ISA, which is a regional leader in electricity transmission, with operations in Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Peru.
Ecopetrol said the agreement would be beneficial for both companies and for Colombia, as it would mean the nation maintains shareholder ownership in the two companies.
"This is a shareholder reorganization in which Ecopetrol and ISA continue to be the property of all Colombians," Finance Minister José Manuel Restrepo said.
He added that the operation allows the country's needs for investment, reactivation, economic growth, and development to be attained.
Restrepo said the share purchase is a move toward achieving social and fiscal sustainability, and is strategic for the future of Colombia to becoming more sustainable since it is a step forward in the transformation of Ecopetrol into a coal-free company.
The transaction makes Ecopetrol "a leading conglomerate in energy transition in the western hemisphere, integrating the hydrocarbon value chain with the transmission of energy, renewable energies, infrastructure and nature-based solutions.
"ISA runs a large-scale energy infrastructure business with low emissions, with growth prospects that are associated with these megatrends and this growing demand for energy and reliable electrification, and ISA will continue to be ISA," Ecopetrol President Felipe Bayón said.
Global law firm Baker McKenzie advised Ecopetrol on the transaction.
The cross-border team was led by Colombia-based partners Andrés Crump, Jaime Trujillo, in addition to associates Natalia Ponce de León, Juliana Tobón and María Paula Moya.
The law firm’s teams in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru were also involved.
"The transaction undoubtedly represents one of the most important of the year, taking into account different factors such as the parties involved, its value and complexity, including its regional scope and the expected positive transformational effect it will have on Ecopetrol and ISA,” Baker McKenzie partner Andrés Crump said.
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