Sempra Buys Dominion's Argentine Interests
Two U.S. energy giants with divergent approaches to overseas
investments cut a deal announced Tuesday with Dominion Resources,
Inc., continuing to sell off its foreign investments and Sempra
Energy continuing to expand its plays out of the country. Sempra
paid $145 million in cash for Dominion's 21.5% interest in holding
companies for natural gas distribution companies in central and
southern Argentina and a 25% interest in the parent company for a
Buenos Aires electric utility.
San Diego, CA-based Sempra increases its share of the two gas
properties to 43% and added the electricity ownership in a country
in which it has held energy stakes for the past five years.
Richmond, VA-based Dominion acquired the interests in the Argentine
gas and electric utilities when it bought Consolidated Natural Gas
Co. in January 2000.
Dominion Resources' CEO Thomas Capps noted that this deal
"completes our exit from Latin America and further concentrates our
resources on (U.S.) expansion efforts in the Midwest, Northeast and
Mid-Atlantic regions." Sempra, on the other hand, "effectively
doubled" its gas utility stake in Argentina, according to Don
Felsinger, chairman of Sempra Energy International.
The sale does not require any U.S. approvals, but it will
require approval by anti-trust authorities in Argentina. The
companies said they expect that process to be completed this fall.
Richard Nemec, Los Angeles
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