(Adds CEO quote, details on transactions, power plant)
SANTIAGO, March 28 Chilean energy company AES
Gener SA said on Friday it was bringing in investment
fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) as a minority partner
to run the Guacolda thermoelectric plant in the north of the
AES Gener, a local unit of U.S. power group AES Corp
, already owns a 50 percent stake in the roughly 608
megawatt coal-fired complex located in Huasco.
The plant's other two shareholders - industrial firm
Empresas Copec and Inversiones Ultraterra - have been
seeking to sell their respective 25 percent stakes in Guacolda.
AES Gener, Chile's second-largest energy generator, said on
Friday it had accepted a preferential offer to buy up that 50
percent stake for $728 million.
Once that purchase is concluded, the company will sell 50
percent less one share to GIP, a fund founded by Credit Suisse
and General Electric that owns London's Gatwick
Airport, among other infrastructure projects.
That transaction would be made "at terms substantially
similar to those of the acquisition previously made," AES Gener
said in a statement.
AES Gener was "very pleased to include GIP as a partner
since it has broad expertise in the energy and infrastructure
sectors," said Chief Executive Officer Luis Felipe Ceron.
The Santiago-based company, which supplies power to major
miners, including state company Codelco and global
company BHP Billiton, had told Reuters in January it
could increase its stake in Guacolda.
The power plant contributed around 9 percent of generation
of Chile's central SIC energy grid in 2012, according to a
document on its website.
AES Gener said it was financing the deal with a $700 million
credit agreement with Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, and
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Deutsche.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by David Gregorio,