Duke seals three deals in a week

Duke Energy of the USA has completed a spending spree in Latin America, closing three deals worth $1.21bn in one week. The deals more than double the size of the company`s international generating assets and underline its commitment to Latin America and to meeting growth targets.

In separate deals in July and August, Duke Energy bought a stake in Brazilian hydropower utility Paranapanema, purchased two El Salvador power plants, and acquired a portfolio of assets from Dominion Resources. In April 1999, Duke pulled out of a fiercely-contested bidding war for Chile`s Empresa Nacional de Electricidad.

In late July, Duke bought a controlling stake in the São Paulo state hydropower utility Paranapanema for R$1.293bn ($685m), a 90.2 per cent premium over the minimum asking price. Although eight companies expressed an interest in the sale, only Duke and Belgium`s Tractebel submitted bids. Duke then agreed to pay $125m for controlling stakes in two government-owned power plants in El Salvador in a sealed-bid auction. Duke will now invest $75m in the modernization and expansion of these units.

Duke also purchased a portfolio of generating assets from Dominion Resources for $405m. The assets include hydroelectric and thermal plants in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia and Peru with a total capacity of 1200 MW.