Italian energy group Enel’s investment arm has gained three hydropower plants in Mexico with a total 52MW capacity through its purchase of the corporate owner, Inelec, from Slap II Luxembourg SARL.

The three plants were built downstream of irrigation dams in the states of Michoacan, Jalisco and Guerrero, and came into commercial operation over the last four years.

Enel said the three plants deliver earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of approximately US$20M, and have an enterprise value of US$193M.

The plants by Enel’s Dutch subsidiary Enel Investment Holding BV, which acquired 100% of Inelec for a total consideration of US$156M. Inelec was owned by Slap II Luxembourg SARL, which itself was managed by US private equity firm Conduit Capital Partners LLC and Grupo Qualita/Comexhidro.

Enel said the acquisition was part of its global strategy of investing in renewables, especially in emerging countries, and the deal offered entry to the growing Mexican electricity market. The group is active in Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa, Rica, and in the last 18 months boosted its hydro stakes in Brazil and Panama.

Last month, Enel shook-up its domestic holding of hydro assets with a deal to transfer 1.4GW of capacity in Trento province, Italy, to a new joint venture that will have as majority partner Dolomiti Energia, a group of industrial investors and local utilities.