Darby’s fund acquires stake in Dominican Republic's power firm

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Darby Private Equity, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, has announced that its Colombia-based infrastructure fund, FINTRA, has acquired an indirect stake in Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Haina, S.A. (EGE Haina).

EGE Haina, established in 1999, is a Dominican company owned jointly by the government of the Dominican Republic and private investors. The company is currently supplying approximately 20% of the country's electricity demand. EGE Haina owns and operates eight plants with 905 MW of generating capacity, running on fuel oil, coal, and wind power. The company is the largest generator in the Dominican Republic by installed capacity and has added 302 MW in new capacity in the last 18 months.

In making the investment, Darby partnered with Putney Capital Management, an asset management and advisory firm located in Central America and the Caribbean, with experience and success in raising capital, buyouts, recapitalizations, turnarounds and joint ventures. Putney operates the energy and industry portfolio in which VICINI has assets under management. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Maria Mercedes Prado, Darby's Managing Director responsible for FINTRA, stated:

"EGE Haina is FINTRA's fourth investment and serves as further validation of our strategy to pursue acquisitions in large infrastructure and energy companies. We look forward to working alongside Putney in executing the company's business plan,"

Rafael Velez Dominguez, President of Putney Capital Management, commented:

"We are excited to welcome Darby as a new partner. Darby's credentials in investing in infrastructure assets and their experience in financing energy companies will be critical in carrying out our business plan, which includes expanding current capacity in up to 400 MW over the next 5 years,"

Darby has played a pioneering role in investing in emerging markets, initially in Latin America, then Asia, and most recently Central and Southeastern Europe. The indirect investment in EGE Haina continues Darby's 20-year investment track record that includes over 60 investments in Latin America and over 15 investments in energy assets worldwide. Since 1995, Darby has made investments in Colombia including Termoeléctrica de Barranquilla, Ocensa, Intertug, and, Petrosantander.

Bancolombia was the sole provider of acquisition financing. Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal counsel to FINTRA. Cobaltum Partners served as financial advisor to Putney. Foley & Lardner acted as legal counsel to Putney.

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