Tampa's TECO Energy Inc. is selling its power plants in Guatemala for $227.5 million in cash. TECO, parent of Tampa Electric Co., expects to net $223 million from the sale, which will leave it without international power plants. It plans to repay $25 million of debt on the San Jose power station and use the rest to buy back stock and pay down debt as it exits the Guatemalan market. Sales of the plants in Alborada and San Jose will reduce its earnings per share in 2013 and 2014 but allow it to focus on its domestic operations and reduce debt.
TECO's Guatemalan subsidiary closed the sale of the Alborada facility on Thursday to Sur Electrica Holding Ltd. of the Bahamas. It plans to sell the San Jose power station and port facilities to a Sur Electric subsidiary. "The completion of these sales will sharpen our focus on our regulated utilities, enable us to return a portion of the proceeds to our investors through share repurchases, and continue our pattern of debt reduction," TECO chief executive John Ramil said in a statement.
TECO first entered the Guatemala market in the 1990s with plans to build additional plants in other Central American countries. Those plans never came to fruition.