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Sempra Closes Chile, Peru Purchases

A unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy on Wednesday said it has completed the $875 million acquisition of interests in Chilean and Peruvian utilities. Sempra Pipelines & Storage now has a 100% interest in the Chilean company and a 76% interest in the Peruvian utility.

Sempra, which has had a shared interest in utilities in Chile and Peru for 12 years, now owns Houston-based AEI's shares in both South American companies -- a 50% interest in Chilquinta Energia SA in Chile and about 38% of Luz del Sur in Peru that was held by the Texas firm.

Sempra's pipeline/storage unit now owns 76% of the Peruvian company, along with institutional investors and the general public.

Sempra's two deals were part of a major restructuring announced earlier by Houston-based AEI, involving the sale of interests in 10 operating companies for $4.8 billion and representing 80% of the global energy infrastructure owner/operator's total assets (see Daily GPI, Jan. 21).

Chilquinta Energia is an electric distribution utility serving about 600,000 customers in the cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Luz del Sur is Chile's main electric utility serving 900,000 in metropolitan Lima and delivering about one-third of Peru's power. Sempra also obtained two energy service companies -- Tecnored SA and Tecsur SA.

George Liparidis, CEO of Sempra Pipelines & Storage, said both of the utilities have strong track records for growth. "They're located in countries with stable regulatory regimes that encourage reinvestment of capital in expanding energy infrastructure," he said.

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