SAN DIEGO, Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) today announced that, as part of its increasing focus on North American markets, the company is initiating the process to sell its equity interests in its South American businesses, including Luz del Sur S.A.A. in Peru and Chilquinta Energía S.A. in Chile.
"We have set a clear strategic goal of becoming North America's premier energy infrastructure company," said Jeffrey W. Martin, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy. "This planned sale allows us more focused capital investment in the U.S. and Mexico to support additional growth opportunities, with a view toward creating greater shareholder value and a stronger balance sheet.
"Luz del Sur in Peru, Chilquinta Energía in Chile and their affiliates have been strong-performing investments for us over the past two decades of our ownership. They've made significant contributions to Sempra Energy and offer exciting future growth opportunities."
The planned sale includes Sempra Energy's 100-percent stake in Chilquinta Energía and 83.6-percent stake in Luz del Sur, as well as Sempra Energy's interests in two energy-services companies, Tecnored and Tecsur, which provide electric construction and infrastructure services to Chilquinta Energía and Luz del Sur, respectively. Sempra Energy originally acquired approximately 50-percent ownership in Chilquinta Energía and an approximate 42-percent ownership interest in Luz del Sur in 1999. In 2011, Sempra Energy acquired its partner's stakes in the utilities, resulting in 100-percent ownership of Chilquinta Energía and majority ownership of Luz del Sur. Some shares of Luz del Sur are held by institutional investors and the general public.
Sempra Energy expects the planned sales process to be completed by the end of 2019.
Luz del Sur serves more than 4.9 million consumers in the southern region of Lima, Peru, and is the largest electric company in that country. Luz del Sur also is active in the development and operation of hydroelectric projects, including its Santa Teresa hydroelectric plant in central Peru.
Chilquinta Energía is the third-largest distributor of electricity in Chile. Chilquinta Energía provides electricity to more than 2 million consumers in the cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar in central Chile, and also is active in the development and operation of electric transmission lines.
Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based energy services holding company with 2017 revenues of more than $11 billion, is the utility holding company with the largest U.S. customer base. The Sempra Energy companies' approximately 20,000 employees serve more than 40 million consumers worldwide.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or when we discuss our guidance, strategy, plans, goals, vision, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the timing of the anticipated transactions contemplated by the planned sale of the South American utilities, and any of our post-sale plans and intentions, and other statements that are not historical facts. The following important factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the risk that we will be unable to enter into definitive agreements and consummate the planned sale; the risk that we are unable to consummate the planned sale within the anticipated timeline; the risk that the proceeds from the planned sale may be lower than expected; disruption from the planned sale making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; and the diversion of management time and attention to issues related to the planned sale.
Additional factors, among others, that could cause our actual results and future actions to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: actions and the timing of actions, including decisions, new regulations, and issuances of permits and other authorizations by the California Public Utilities Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Public Utility Commission of Texas, states, cities and counties, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the U.S. and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts, major acquisitions such as our interest in Oncor, and construction projects, including risks in (i) timely obtaining or maintaining permits and other authorizations, (ii) completing construction projects on schedule and on budget, (iii) obtaining the consent and participation of partners and counterparties and their ability to fulfill contractual commitments, and (iv) not realizing anticipated benefits; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers; denial of approvals of proposed settlements; and delays in, or disallowance or denial of, regulatory agency authorizations to recover costs in rates from customers or regulatory agency approval for projects required to enhance safety and reliability; and moves to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas; the greater degree and prevalence of wildfires in California in recent years and risk that we may be found liable for damages regardless of fault, such as where inverse condemnation applies, and risk that we may not be able to recover any such costs in rates from customers in California; the availability of electric power and natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, limitations on the withdrawal or injection of natural gas from or into storage facilities, and equipment failures; risks posed by actions of third parties who control the operations of our investments; weather conditions, natural disasters, accidents, equipment failures, computer system outages, explosions, terrorist attacks and other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause wildfires and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance (including costs in excess of applicable policy limits), may be disputed by insurers or may otherwise not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; our ability to successfully execute our plan to divest certain non-utility assets within the anticipated timeframe, if at all, or that such plan may not yield the anticipated benefits; actions of activist shareholders, which could impact the market price of our equity and debt securities and disrupt our operations as a result of, among other things, requiring significant time and attention by management and our board of directors; changes in capital markets, energy markets and economic conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments; and volatility in inflation, interest and currency exchange rates and commodity prices and our ability to effectively hedge the risk of such volatility; the impact of recent federal tax reform and uncertainty as to how it may be applied, and our ability to mitigate adverse impacts; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or those of our subsidiaries or to place those ratings on negative outlook and our ability to borrow at favorable interest rates; changes in foreign and domestic trade policies and laws, including border tariffs, and revisions to or replacement of international trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, that may increase our costs or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong and aggressive competitors; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources; the impact on competitive customer rates due to the growth in distributed and local power generation and from possible departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation or other forms of distributed and local power generation and the potential risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC's (Oncor) ability to eliminate or reduce its quarterly dividends due to regulatory capital requirements and commitments, or the determination by Oncor's independent directors or a minority member director to retain such amounts to meet future requirements; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra North American Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utility, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra North American Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utility, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
SOURCE Sempra Energy