BOGOTA, May 14 (Reuters) - A high-level judiciary authority in Colombia intervened on Thursday to suspend the government’s sale of its majority stake in power generator Isagen pending a verdict on appeals against its disposal, just days before it was to be auctioned.
The suspension is at least the second by the Council of State, the top judicial authority overseeing government conduct, and comes less than a week before the government’s 57.6 percent stake in the utility was set to be auctioned off on May 19.
The Council of State said in a statement late on Thursday it was ordering the suspension while it considers the appeals which call for government decrees permitting the sale to be annulled.
The sale is expected to fetch around $2.2 billion dollars, which the government plans to put towards heavy investments under way to improve the Andean country’s infrastructure.
Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, Chile’s Colbun and France’s GDF Suez confirmed they would bid for Isagen by paying a 100 billion pesos ($42 million) deposit needed to qualify, it was announced this week.
The Council of State previously suspended the sale, which has been planned for several years, in March 2014 after the Tax Justice Network, a lobby group for the efficient use of public funds, said it would be detrimental to the country. (Reporting by Monica Garcia; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Tom Hogue)