SANTIAGO, March 23 (Reuters) - Chilean energy firm Colbun said it is considering bidding for the controlling stake in electricity generator Isagen that the Colombian government is putting up for sale.
Earlier this month, the government said it would put the 57.6 percent stake up for sale for at least $2 billion as it seeks to raise cash at a time when low crude prices have put a dent in government finances.
Colbun is doing due diligence and preparing for pre-qualification ahead of the April 15 deadline, it said in a letter to the Santiago stock exchange published on Monday.
The Chilean company, which has a market capitalization of around $4.9 billion, runs a network of hydroelectric and thermal power stations in southern and central Chile. It has previously expressed an interest in expanding elsewhere in South America.
Isagen is Colombia’s third-biggest generator. Companies that showed interest in its sale last year - later postponed - included Duke Energy, China Huadian Corporation, and Spain’s Gas Natural.
In November, Gas Natural bought Chilean electricity distributor CGE, saddling it with debt 3.2 times core earnings.
Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta; Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Dan Grebler