Mexico antitrust body sets conditions for government purchase of Iberdrola plants

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 5:17 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s antitrust regulator on Thursday issued conditions on the Mexican government’s purchase of 13 power plants from Spain’s Iberdrola, insisting they be operated independently and avoid exchange of sensitive information among competitors.

In a statement, the regulator known as Cofece stressed that the conditions must guarantee competition in the country’s electricity generation market.

Mexico’s government agreed in April 2023 to buy the power plants from the Spanish energy giant in a deal worth $6 billion, which Mexico’s president hailed at the time as a “new nationalization” for the electricity market.

The governing body of the independent antitrust regulator further ruled that the government fund involved in the purchase cannot exceed a 51% stake in the plants. It added that plant managers should abstain from taking jobs with a competitor company, and they cannot have served as government officials over the past four years.

The conditions must be accepted in order to finalize the purchase agreement, according to Cofece’s ruling.

(Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Editing by Anthony Esposito)