Actis in $345m Guatemalan electricity deal

The emerging markets private equity firm has acquired two electricity supply and transport businesses in Guatemala from Gas Natural Fenosa, a Spanish energy operator.

Actis, the emerging markets private equity firm based in London, has acquired two Guatemalan electricity transport and supply businesses – Distribuidora de Oriente (DEORSA) and Distribuidora de Occidente (DEOCSA) – from Gas Natural Fenosa, a Spanish energy firm which has extensive operations in Latin America. The deal is worth $345 million, including the assumption of debt.

Between them, DEORSA and DEOCSA serve 1.4 million customers in Guatemala, covering 20 of the country’s 22 ‘departments’ (administrative sub-divisions), which  account for 94 percent of the Central American nation’s land mass.

Guatemala’s energy sector has delivered the fastest growth rate in Central America since distribution was privatised in 1998, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 percent.

In a statement, Actis said it would seek to invest in the network and expand it as well as connecting new customers and focusing on activities to reduce electricity loss. It said it would use the experience gained from its management of Umeme, Uganda’s electricity distribution business, which was acquired by Actis in 2005 and is still in the firm’s portfolio.

Actis, which invests in Asia, Africa and Latin America, has $4.6 billion in assets under management. It has an existing Central American presence through power generation developer Globeleq, which owns a Honduran wind project, and Central American wind farm owner and developer ERM Mesoamerica.