Korean and Chinese banks have offered $120 million to an Infra Partners Management (IPM)-led consortium, helping the consortium to buy stakes in GNL Mejillones (GNLM), a Chile natural gas terminal.
The banks that participated in the process are the Industrial Bank of Korea, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the Agricultural Bank of China.
The IPM-led consortium had offered to buy a 37 percent stake for $210million in the Chile natural gas terminal, which belonged to Chile’s state-owned mining company Codelco, which is the largest producer of copper globally. The agreement was signed on August 7.
GNL Mejillones is controlled by a subsidiary of the French energy company Engie, which holds 67 percent of in the gas terminal.
The selling off of the Chile LNG terminal is assumed to profit Codelco, by helping the firm to focus more on its principal activity of copper mining.
The offer marks first time a South Korean bank has invested in a South American infrastructure asset.
Codelco reported that based on the Chile natural gas terminal deal, Chile-based investment fund Ameris Capital AGF will be paying $193.5 million for the deal.
The final bidders for the stake included a Japanese trading company, a natural gas terminal operator in South America, and a US infrastructure fund.
Codelco had begun searching for buyers since the end of 2017 as the firm felt there was no longer a necessity to maintain a stake in the energy terminal due to the numerous positive changes in Chile’s energy markets. Chile had resumed importing from Argentina, the country had strengthened its electricity grid, and was transitioning towards renewable energy.