Endesa controlling 4 of 5 "Chispas"

Oct 20, 1997 02:00 AM

August 30,1997 Spanish electricity giant Endesa has closed a $ 1.5 billion tender for a group of Chilean companies known as the "Chispas", securing control of four firms but falling short in a fifth one.
By buying the Chispas, Endesa would gain control of Enersis, Chile's largest utility holding company, which also has interests in Argentina, Brazil and Peru.
But given it missed its target of getting pledges for half of the stock in Chispa firm Luz SA , Endesa will take some time to mull whether it goes ahead with the deal.
Under the tender's terms, the Spanish company can still decline the Chispas shareholders' offers,.
In 12 days Endesa (Empresa Nacional de Electricidad) secured pledges for 91 % of Chispa Uno, 91.3 % of Chispa Dos, 89 % of Los Almendros and 93.3 % of Luz y Fuerza.
Those four Chispas own 26.8 % of Enersis, a company with a $ 5.0 billion market capitalisation that controls power generator Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (Endesa-Chile) and distributor Chilectra SA.
But Endesa finished far from its target for Luz SA, having secured only 21.6 % of its stock. The smallest Chispa has a 2.86 % stake in Enersis.
Endesa's bid sparked plenty of controversy in Chile, prompting disgruntled Luz investors to cry that their rights were being trampled and leading legislators to establish a special panel to examine the transaction.
The Chilean government is also looking into the deal. Its preliminary inquiries found no irregularities but top officials said it had revealed glaring voids in their regulations.

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