Leading global renewable energy company Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. (TSX:BEP.UN)(NYSE:BEP) has made yet another major acquisition that reinforces its position as one of the world’s leading providers of clean electricity. This acquisition continues the partnership’s goal of growing its portfolio through strategic growth-oriented acquisitions at a reasonable price and is yet another reason to add Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to your portfolio.
A consortium of investors led by Brookfield has acquired a controlling interest in Colombia’s third-largest power generation company Isagen S.A. The deal sees the consortium paying US$2.2 billion for almost 58% of Isagen’s outstanding shares held by the Colombian government.
This acquisition is an important plank in the partnership’s growth strategy.
Not only does it significantly boost Brookfield’s portfolio of hydroelectric assets by adding an additional 3,032 megawatts of installed capacity, but it gives it a solid presence in one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies.
You see, Isagen’s portfolio of energy assets is considerable. It is made up of six hydroelectric plants, including Colombia’s largest operating hydro facility and that country’s largest hydro reservoir by volume. Isagen’s electricity output accounts for about 20% of Colombia’s total annual electricity production.
It is worth considering that Colombia’s economy is among the fastest growing in Latin America. Over the last four years its annual GDP has grown by an average of just over 5%, and there are signs that such impressive economic growth will continue. Analysts and economists believe that despite the impact of the sharp collapse of oil, which has seen Colombia’s 2015 GDP growth dip to about 3%, it will revert to 4% annually by 2016.
Such a strong rate of economic growth can only increase the demand for electricity because it is a key part of business and industrial activity as well as our modern lives.
Furthermore, the structure of Colombia’s electricity market creates considerable growth opportunities. Surprisingly, for a country that is South America’s third-largest economy, its electricity consumption per capita is still below the South American average.
Finally, approximately 80% of Isagen’s energy sales are derived from contracts with large commercial and industrial customers. This not only adds to its growth potential with private enterprises operating in Colombia that are expected to expand at a rapid rate as its economy expands, but it also makes Isagen’s earnings quite stable.
All of Isagen’s attributes fit well with Brookfield’s operating model. It has a wide economic moat, operates in a regulated market with oligopolistic characteristics, and holds a dominant market position. The acquisition creates considerable growth opportunities for Brookfield, and once it is complete it should add a nice bump to its bottom line.
Meanwhile, investors will continue to be rewarded by its juicy and sustainable 6.5% dividend yield as they wait for that to occur and translate into a higher share price.