Isagen sale may go ahead says Columbian judiciary, Brookfield to bid: Reuters

Colombia’s top judicial authority on Thursday approved the sale of the government’s 57.6 percent stake in power generator Isagen, expected to raise at least US$1.8 billion.

The Council of State said in its decision the government may move ahead with the sale, which was halted in May just days before the company was set to be auctioned, rejecting appeals calling for the decree enabling the sale to be annulled.

“The national government is authorized to transfer its share participation in Isagen,” council Vice President Martha Teresa Briceno told journalists.

The judicial authority has suspended the Isagen sale at least twice. The latest appeal was lodged by a lawyer connected to the country’s right-wing opposition.

The government hopes to use profits from the sale to fund infrastructure projects.

Before the suspension, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, Chile’s Colbun and France’s Engie SA, formerly GDF Suez, confirmed they would bid for the company by paying a 100 billion peso deposit needed to qualify.

Isagen shares were up on Thursday after rumors of the council’s decision were published by local media, rising 9.73 percent to 3,100 pesos per share.

Update: Reuters previously reported that Toronto-based Brookfield was planning a bid for control of the Colombian government’s stake in the company.

(Reporting by Monica Garcia and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)

Photo courtesy of Isagen