KIA, GIC in groups bidding for Philippine power plant stake

A group comprising the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is among final bidders for Sithe Global Power's stake in a Philippine power plant that could fetch at least US$500 million (S$680 million), people with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.

A consortium of GIC, Malaysian power company Malakoff and an infrastructure investment fund managed by Macquarie Group also made a binding offer, said the people, who asked not to be identified.

Aboitiz Power, based in the Philippines, is vying for the Blackstone Group-backed company's asset as well, the people said.

Rising demand for electricity in the Asia-Pacific region has been spurring mergers and acquisitions in the energy industry.

Announced power and utilities deals involving companies in the region totalled US$72.4 billion this year, up 19 per cent from the US$60.6 billion announced in the same period in 2015, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

New York-based Sithe is selling a more than 60 per cent stake in Mariveles power plant, a 600MW facility. A decision on the winning bidder for the facility, located in Bataan province, west of the Philippine capital of Manila, is expected to be announced in October.

Sithe Global and the Philippines' Ayala Corp co-own the Mariveles plant as well as a stake of about 40 per cent in Dinginin power station, a 1,300MW facility that is being built.

Representatives for KIA and Malakoff did not immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment, while Blackstone, Macquarie Group, CVC and GIC declined to comment in e-mailed responses to Bloomberg queries.

"I cannot comment at this time," Aboitiz Power executive vice-president Miguel Aboitiz said in a mobile-phone text message.

KIA, one of the world's oldest sovereign wealth funds, is targeting global infrastructure projects after taking part in a consortium that bought London City Airport this year, chairman Anas Al-Saleh said in May. CVC Capital, whose holdings include a stake in Formula One, agreed to take bereavement care provider Nirvana Asia private in July.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'KIA, GIC in groups bidding for Philippine power plant stake'. Print Edition | Subscribe