ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 21, 2001 The AES Corporation announced today that it has closed on the sale of related interests in the Argentine hydroelectric facility Hidronequen to Total Austral S.A. a subsidiary of TotalFinaElf.
Pursuant to the transaction, Total Fina purchased AES Gener’s 70% interest in Hidronequen for $72.5 million as well as subordinated debt related to Hidronequen held by AES Gener for $50 million. In addition, last month AES also sold Gener’s 64% interest in the Argentine thermal generator, Central Puerto SA, also to TotalFinaElf’s subsidiary, for $255 million.
AES agreed last year to sell both Hidronequen and Central Puerto in conjunction with its tender offer for Gener S.A. In March 2001, AES Gener and TotalFinaElf executed a purchase and sale agreement which granted to TotalFinaElf the option to purchase three of Gener’s generating assets in Argentina: Central Puerto, Hidronequen and TermoAndes.
TotalFinaElf has until November 1, 2001 to exercise its option to purchase TermoAndes.
The proceeds of approximately $367 million will be applied to completely repay an acquisition loan incurred in connection with AES’s tender offer for Gener SA.
Naveed Ismail, President AES Andes, stated, “We are very pleased to complete the sales of Central Puerto and Hidroneuquen to TotalFinaElf. These sales represent an important milestone in the implementation of our business plan for Gener and are a major step towards reorienting AES Gener back towards the Chilean power market.”
Dennis W. Bakke, President and CEO of AES, stated, “The people in our Andes Group have done a terrific job in acquiring AES Gener and completing the transactions related to the initial purchase. These sales ensured that AES did not have an excessive share of the generating capacity in Argentina. We continue to like our balance of hydro and thermal facilities in Argentina, including our new, clean, efficient AES Parana gas-fired combined-cycle facility which is expected to commence commercial operations prior to the end of 2001.”