By Bloomberg News - July 19, 2017
AES Corp. is seeking to sell its controlling stake in the Masinloc power plant in a deal that could value the project at more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The US electricity generator is working with advisers to gauge interest in its entire 51-percent interest in the 630-megawatt coal-fired power plant, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
A deal would represent a complete exit for AES, which agreed in 2014 to sell an effective 41-percent stake in the Masinloc project to Thailand’s Electricity Generating Pcl. for $453 million. The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. owns the remaining 8 percent.
AES has been shedding assets to cut debt as it seeks to achieve an investment-grade credit rating by 2020. Any transaction will add to the $72.8 billion in acquisitions of Asian energy and utility companies over the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will result in a sale, the people said. Amy Ackerman, a spokesman for AES in Arlington, Virginia, declined to comment. AES is aiming to raise $500 million through asset sales this year, CFO Thomas M. O’Flynn said on a May 8 earnings call. The company agreed last year to sell its interest in Brazilian utility AES Sul to CPFL Energia SA for 1.7 billion reais ($536 million).
The power plant, which has been in operation since 1998, was bought by AES for $930 million in 2008, according to AES’s web site. It is located about 250 kilometers northwest of Manila in Zambales province, an area known for its mango cultivation.