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Three gorges eyes bid for US$1b Chile renewable firm

[HONG KONG] China Three Gorges Corp is considering a bid for buyout firm Actis LLP's majority stake in Chilean renewable energy producer Aela Energia, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A sale could value Aela Energia at about US$800 million to US$1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. London-based Actis, which owns 60 per cent of the company, may start a sale as early as in September, they said. Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd owns the remaining stake.

State-owned China Three Gorges has been eyeing assets in Latin America as the government encourages renewable-energy investment. It is weighing a deal to gain control of EDP-Energias de Portugal SA's Brazilian business by merging the companies' assets in the country, Bloomberg News reported last month.

Aela Energia operates a 33-megawatt wind park and is building another 300 megawatts of wind capacity in Chile. Actis invested in Aela in 2013. China Three Gorges is weighing an offer for all of Aela Energia, one of the people said, although it wasn't clear whether Mainstream Renewable Power plans to sell its 40 per cent holding.

China Three Gorges didn't immediately answer phone calls and a fax comment. A spokesman for Actis declined to comment, while a representative for Mainstream Renewable Power said he couldn't immediately comment. Aela said in an emailed statement that there is no sale process underway, and the company is currently focusing on operating its Cuel installation and on building its Sarco and Aurora projects.

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