State-backed Colombian electricity group ISA said in a release last Friday that it will acquire the remaining 40 percent of toll road operator Cintra’s Chilean roads business.
But when Chile was struck by its biggest earthquake in 50 years in late February, the conclusion of the sale was put on hold as both companies assessed the damages caused to the concessions. ISA said it is still awaiting the results of due diligence on Cintra’s Chilean roads as well as the necessary permits from regulators in Spain, Colombia and Chile.
Local media estimate the damages caused by the earthquake to the country’s roads at $160 million.
Cintra Chile is the country’s largest toll road operator, managing over 907 kilometres of roads. In the first nine months of 2009, Cintra’s Chilean business generated €147 million in revenues and €102 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
For ISA, majority-owned by the Colombian government and predominantly an energy investor, the purchase is part of its stated objective of deriving 20 percent of its revenues from other businesses other than electricity transportation by 2016. By that date, the company also expects 80 percent of its revenues to be generated outside Colombia.