NEW YORK, Sept 19 Cogentrix Energy Inc, a unit
of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), has sold an 80 percent stake
in 14 power plants to Energy Investors Funds, a buyout investor
that specializes in U.S. energy and power assets, for
EIF's United States Power Fund III LP is buying 80 percent
of Cogentrix' interest in 14 power projects totaling 2,336 net
megawatts of generating capacity. Cogentrix will retain a 20
percent stake in the projects.
"We look forward to working as a team with EIF in
enhancing the value of what will be a co-owned portfolio," said
Ed Canaday, a spokesman for Goldman and Cogentrix.
EIF said the deal is expected to close by the end of
December and subject to closing conditions and regulatory
Goldman Sachs, the largest investment bank in terms of
market value, acquired Cogentrix in December 2003 for $2.4
billion. The purchase provided stakes in 26 plants that could
support its industry leading energy trading business.
Over the past two years, Goldman has pared down its
portfolio as the value of power assets recovered. Owning
physical assets is viewed as less critical for traders.
Goldman in May put most of its 18 power generation assets
up for sale, as first reported by Reuters, although it plans to
retain Charlotte, North Carolina-based Cogentrix as a
The New York investment bank, began building up a portfolio
of power plants in 2003, a time when distressed energy
companies such as Enron, Dynegy Inc (DYN.N) and El Paso Corp
EP.N were shedding power plants at fire-sale prices to stay
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone)