BOGOTA, May 22 (Reuters) - An injunction against the sale of Colombia’s majority stake in power generator Isagen last month was lifted on Thursday after the Finance and Energy ministries argued that the divestment would not be detrimental to public finances.
Colombia’s government is seeking to raise 5 trillion pesos ($2.5 billion) from its 57.6 percent stake in Isagen, which operates six electricity generators, and to invest the cash in badly needed infrastructure improvements.
The Council of State, a senior legal authority overseeing the government, withdrew the March 28 injunction which had suspended the sale while it investigated a pressure group’s claim that the public would lose if the government sold a profitable company.
It accepted the government’s argument that the sale would not be prejudicial to the public and also did not find evidence of irregularities in the sale process, which pressure group the Tax Justice Network had alleged when seeking the injunction.
The government hopes to use funds from the sale to invest in badly needed infrastructure improvements. The Tax Justice Network said it should find those resources elsewhere and retain its stake in Isagen.
The government has received interest from U.S.-based Duke Energy, China Haudian Corporation, Generco, Spain’s Gas Natural, Brazil’s Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais, Cemig and Empresa de Energia de Bogota. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra and Carlos Vargas; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Richard Chang)