Soros, Albright invest $250 million in APR Energy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fund affiliated with hedge fund billionaire George Soros and one linked to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are buying a controlling stake in APR Energy, a company that mainly supplies temporary power in developing countries, for $250 million.

APR Energy, which dominates the market for international temporary power generation services along with larger listed rival Aggreko Plc AGGK.L, said it will use the investment from Soros' Quantum Strategic Partners and Albright Capital Management LLC to expand its fleet of power generators.

Founder and Chief Executive John Campion will remain a major shareholder in APR Energy, which supports power needs mostly in emerging markets lacking permanent electricity solutions, the company announced on Tuesday.

Campion and co-founder Laurence Anderson will together own a stake in excess of 25 percent, a source familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss details of the deal.

APR’s revenues have grown from about $40 million in 2008 to roughly $125 million in 2010.

“We certainly expect to continue the similar growth trajectory that we’ve had in the past with the capital from Albright and Soros,” Campion told Reuters in an interview.

“It’s certainly going to give us the fresh powder to supply more power to existing customers and future customers,” he said, adding that the company expects to double its revenue over the next two years.

Soros is a new investor in the company, while Albright’s fund was already an investor. APR Energy formerly counted Dubai-based Levant Capital Ltd as a shareholder. Levant has agreed to exit as part of the latest fund-raising.

A growth in power demand continues to outstrip economic growth in developing countries but supply remains hamstrung by lack of financing and time required to install permanent power capacity, buoying demand for services provided by Aggreko and APR Energy.

Campion founded Show Power, a power rental business for high-profile events, in 1987 and sold that business to General Electric Co GE.N in 2000. He later bought out ALSTOM's power rental business in 2004 and renamed it APR Energy.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, APR has existing or new power service contracts in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica and Haiti, among others.

The company primarily supplies government utilities in developing nations with interim solutions from six months to three years while the utilities look to install lasting power solutions. APR is also targeting mining, oil and gas industries for future business.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Gary Hill