(posted Feb. 12, 9:00 a.m.)- Nicaragua’s polemic electricity distribution company, Gas Natural Fenosa (formerly Unión Fenosa), has finally confirmed that it is pulling out of the country after selling its shares in Disnorte-Dissur for $57.8 million, according to a press release this morning from company headquarters in Barcelona.
The controlling shares in the electricity distribution companies were bought by Nicaragua company TSK-Melfosur Internacional, which is made up of Spanish companies TSK and Melfosur, according to the release.
“The agreement includes the sale of shares held by Gas Natural Fenosa in Distribuidora de Electricidad del Norte, S.A. (83.69%) and in Distribuidora del Sur, S.A. (83.73%), which are responsible for electricity distribution in the Central American country,” reads the company’s press release.
The sale was made official yesterday during a signing ceremony attended by the Nicaragua’s Finance Minister Iván Acosta and Minister of Energy and Mines Emilio Rapacciolli, according to the press release.
Gas Natural Fenosa’s cut-and-run from Nicaragua frees the company from its contractual obligation to remain in the country until 2030. The company claims it was losing $50 million a year in Nicaragua.
Though there have been rumors of a sale for months, the secrecy with which everything is handled here made today’s headlines in Spain a surprise to those in Nicaragua.
“I haven’t been notified of anything yet,” says the president of Nicaragua’s largest power plant. “I am just as surprised by this news as everyone.”
It remains unclear what—if anything—the sale of the electricity company will mean for customer service, electrification plans, and utility rates, the highest in Central America.