EPM back on the acquisition trail in Colombia

Published July 13th, 2017

Still smarting from accusations that it overpaid to acquire Chilean water utility Aguas de Antofagasta for $960 million back in 2015, Colombian utility EPM has kept things closer to home with its latest acquisition.

The conditional offer to buy Empresas Públicas de Rionegro (EP RIO) – which provides water and wastewater services in the city of Rionegro, adjacent to EPM’s core franchise area – was announced earlier this week without a price tag, but with a commitment to invest COP550 billion ($178 million) in the Rionegro systems over the next several years.

One of the main drivers behind the deal is to alleviate the overdependence of EP RIO on a single, highly contaminated water source by connecting the city’s system up to the reservoir at La Fe. The investment programme also envisages treating Rionegro’s wastewater before it enters the River Nare, which will reduce cyanobacterial blooms at EPM’s Guatapé hydropower plant.