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LAP Weighs Chile IPO to Raise $400 Million for Wind Farms

10 September 2012

(Bloomberg) September 10, 2012 – Latin America Power, an energy startup backed by Brazilian billionaire Andre Esteves, is considering an initial public offering in Santiago as it seeks to raise $400 million for projects in Chile, Peru and Panama.

LAP, which plans to raise the funds within two years to develop hydroelectric dams and wind farms in the three countries, is also considering tapping private investors and existing shareholders for the capital, Chief Executive Officer Roberto Sahade said in an interview in Santiago today. The Santiago-based company is backed by Esteves’s Banco BTG Pactual SA (BBTG11) and Brazilian investment funds Patria Investimentos SA, Promon SA and GMR Energia.

The company is targeting Chile and Peru as copper- and gold-mining investments will boost power demand, while Panama’s economic growth has strained existing electricity supplies, Sahade said.

“This growth requires energy,” Sahade said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for us.”

LAP plans to generate 1 gigawatt of power in the three countries by 2018, according to a company presentation. The three countries have similar legal frameworks that govern power investments, Sahade said. The company currently has 33.4 megawatts of generating capacity and is developing another 180 megawatts.

Sahade is a former CEO of Brazilian renewable energy company ERSA-Energias Renovaveis SA. CPFL Energia SA, Brazil’s largest private-sector power distributor, merged its renewable energy units with ERSA last year to create CPFL Energias Renovaveis SA. (CPFE3)