AES Corp. (NYSE: AES – News) announced that it has signed two agreements to sell a substantial majority of its businesses in China for $134 million in total aggregate proceeds. Subject to local customary approvals, the transactions are expected to close in the second half of 2012.
“The sale of these businesses is in line with our strategy to exit those markets where we do not have a competitive advantage,” said Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. “Narrowing our geographic focus and investing in our core markets better positions us for long term earnings growth.”
Since September 2011, the Company has announced eight asset sale transactions totaling $890 million. Six of those transactions, totaling $756 million, have already closed.
On May 4, 2012 AES agreed to sell its 25 percent equity interest in the 2,100 MW coal-fired Yangcheng plant and its 49 percent equity interest in the 248 MW China Wind joint venture to Sembcorp Utilities for a total of $86 million.
AES also disclosed in its first quarter 2012 earnings press release that it signed an agreement on May 4, 2012 to sell its 49 percent equity interest in Jianghe Rural Electrification Development Company Limited (“JHRH”) to its JV partner, China Three Gorges New Energy Corporation, for $48 million. JHRH includes seven small hydroelectric plants, one wind farm and one co-generation plant with a total gross capacity of 379 MW.
Total gross capacity of the plants to be sold is 2,727 MW, or 717 MW on an ownership-adjusted basis. Once these asset sales are completed, AES’ generation footprint in China will consist of one hydro and one gas-fired plant, which together have a total gross capacity of 75 MW, or 31 MW on an ownership-adjusted basis.
Use of proceeds from asset sales will be evaluated in accordance with AES’ capital allocation policy to maximize total shareholder returns by paying down debt, investing in new businesses and/or repurchasing shares.