Chinese bidder emerges as finalist for Zuma Energía

05 August 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) is in talks to acquire Mexican renewables company Zuma Energía from Actis and Mesoamerica, said three sources familiar with the situation. 


The acquisition would represent a second Actis platform company the Chinese clean energy investor would be acquiring following the parties’ 1Q19 agreement for Actis’ Brazilian wind platform Atlantic Energias Renováveis. 


That transaction is yet to close. 


Danish renewables developer Ørsted wind has also shown interest in pursuing a deal with Actis for the company, having also progressed to the second round, added two of the sources. Other bidders who participated in the second round, such as Brookfield, Colbún and Grupo Energía Bogotá have lost interest in the acquisition, according to multiple sources.  


Actis and Mesoamerica hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mijares, Angoitia, Cortes y Fuentes around October 2018 to sell 100% of the Zuma platform. 


One financial advisor said that the deal was taking a long time as the secondary market for renewables assets in the country is very active right now. 


Companies like Aldesa, InfraRed, Invex, Mitsui, and Wyetree Asset Management are all selling assets in the country currently, providing investors with lots of brownfield options in the country at a time when the government has cancelled plans for further renewable capacity auctions. 


Actis and Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined comment on the situation. 


British emerging markets asset manager Actis invested USD 245m in 2014 to acquire a 70% stake in the business from Mesoamerica and the company has developed two wind farms and two solar PV plants to date. 


Zuma’s 800MW portfolio contains two in construction solar PV plants and two operational wind farms. The solar plants are the 162MW Orejana plant in Sonora and the 182MW Santa María plant in Chihuahua, while the wind farms are the 424MW Reynosa wind farm in Tamaulipas and the 50MW Ingenio wind farm in Oaxaca.


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