Celsia begins in 1919 with the birth of Coltabaco, which in 2001, spun off its investment to make way for the creation of Compañía Colombiana de Inversiones, (Colombian Investment company) Colinversiones. After the creation of Colinversiones, a strategic investment process oriented to focus the company on the power sector started, in which rapidly achieved, to become an important and distinguished player in Colombia. The ending point of this transformation was the name change to Celsia, in order to begin a new phase: growth and expansion.
El 27 de enero de 1919, con la reunión de pequeñas fábricas productoras de cigarrillo y el propósito de fabricar, distribuir y vender cigarrillos de tabaco negro, acudiendo al fomento del cultivo de la hoja (lo que comprendía financiación, asistencia técnica y compra de la cosecha a pequeños agricultores), se crea la compañía Colombiana de Tabaco, Coltabaco.
On January 27th, 1919, with the meeting of small cigarette factories and the purpose to manufacture, distribute and sell black tobacco cigarettes, aiming to promote the cultivation of its leaf (which covers financing, technical assistance and purchase of small farmers harvest), the Compañía Colombiana de Tabaco, (Colombian Tobacco company) Coltabaco is created.
As its development progressed, the company became a pioneer in the recognition of social benefits for workers; also in their first 40 years, encourages and strengthens the culture of tobacco in Colombia and thrusts the stock market and other economic sectors, with investments in several businesses such as Investment and Industry, RCN, Antioquia Commercial Bank, among others.
Also plays a leading role in the guild organization of the Colombian industry through its participation in the promotion and establishment of the National Association of Manufacturers, ANDI.
Coltabaco’s growth continues
In the 60’s, Coltabaco dedicates itself to encourage and promote blond tobacco; for that creates Tabacos Rubios de Colombia S.A., through this, acquires land in Magdalena, Cesar and La Guajira; all with the purpose of manufacturing and selling blond tobacco, activity which gets consolidated in the 70s.
The investment portfolio diversifies
In partnership with Kimberly Clark Corporation, Coltabaco Colombiana S.A. creates Colkim, with the initial goal of making cigarette paper; then extends its corporate purpose to include the manufacture, sale and export of paper, especially disposable hygienic, sanitary products for domestic use and fine papers.
In this decade, Coltabaco participates in creating Promotora de Hoteles Medellín S.A. (Medellin Hotels Promoter), which undertakes the construction and equipping of the Hotel Intercontinental Medellin.
In 1972, acquired a significant stake in Colombian Universal Papers, Colpapel, having as partner Kimberly Clark Co., which later (in the 90s), would merge with Colombiana Kimberly, to create Colombiana Kimberly Colpapel SA.
Likewise, in the early 70s, Coltabaco participates in the constitution of Conavi (Corporacion de Ahorro y Vivienda) Savings and Housing Corporation.
The world looks at the tobacco industry
The tobacco industry starts receiving a strong siege by not only healthcare organizations in the world, but from the same consumers, through lawsuits for health damage.
In this decade, the company received the National Quality Award, given by the government of President Belisario Betancur. It also launched the building and equipping project of the Hotel Las Lomas in Rionegro, Antioquia.
The investment portfolio gets consolidated
The business of manufacturing and selling cigarettes is focused worldwide in a few multinational companies such as British American Tobacco, Philip Morris and Reynolds Tobacco Ceita.
As a consequence of this, Coltabaco recieved persistent claims from Philip Morris and BAT with the intentions to acquire its control.
In this decade, Coltabaco invests in the development of operations in the Andean region, through Colombiana Kimberly and Colpapel. This way begins operations in Venezuela (1991), Ecuador (1992), Perú (1994) and Bolivia (1995), initially distributing products made in Colombia; then, with the acquisition of local businesses, deals with the distribution and manufacturing in those countries.
At an Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting held in June 2001, the decision to split the company’s industrial investments and activities is taken unanimously, to originate the birth of Colinversiones S.A. On October 8th, 2001, the division in which Coltabaco transferred 70% of its assets to the new company is formalized.
When Coltabaco’s assets were divided, to each of the 6,589 shareholders of this company, were delivered Colinversiones shares in proportion of one to one, so that those who were Coltabaco’s shareholders remained being Colinversiones shareholders in the same proportion and number.
The management of the relationships with shareholders and general management, for both companies, were in charge of Coltabaco until 2005, when the sale of control of the tobacco company Philip Morris is produced.
Between 2005 and 2006, a capitalization of Colinversiones occurs through the issuance of shares worth COP $300,000 million (subscribed above 99%). An exchange of Conavi shares for South American Investment shares was also carried out. The company adopts the Code of Governance, in order to protect and preserve the ethical integrity of the company and maintain proper management, transparency and trust of those who invest in it.
In addition, the company buys 9.7% of Colombia’s Stock Exchange and expanded its involvement in the hotel sector with the acquisition of the Hotel Meliá in Pereira, today Pereira’s Hotel.
In June 2006, after the resignation of Dario Múnera Arango, Juan Guillermo Londoño Posada became CEO.
In December 2006, the organization renewed its commitment with society and, with initial assets of COP $4,500, structures the Celsia’s Foundation, focused in education.
In 2007, the Hotel in Pereira and the Hotel Las Lomas in Ríonegro set in motion the process of remodeling their physical facilities and expansion of its service portfolio, investing COP $18,000 million, between the two projects, which complements the transformation plan of these assets of the company, initiated with the Intercontinental Hotel, where COP $18,000 million were equally invested.
In the same way, the year 2007 became a period of great significance for Colinversiones thus continuing the process of building a strong and promising future, begins a process of integral transformation, establishing a new strategy.
For this, the company works with national consultants and foreign investment bankers to identify the sector that would become the new focus of investment for the company: power generation.
As the beginning of the materialization of this targeting strategy on December 3rd, 2007, Celsia acquires Termoflores S.A E.S.P, power plant located in Barranquilla with a generation capacity of 441 MW from thermal to gas, that has an ongoing expansion project (Flores IV) that will allow to generate 169 MW additionally to the current capacity, for a total capacity of 610 MW.
In 2008, a year of significant progress, the organization continued the process of focusing its investments in the energy sector, acquiring two power plants and an electricity generation project:
- Meriléctrica S.C.A. E.S.P., which totality of shares were received by Colinvesiones due to the merger of the company with Inversiones e industria S.A (IEI), Antioqueña de inversiones S.A (ADI) and Compañía Nacional de Inversiones Ltd. (CNI). This plant, located in Barrancabermeja, has a generating capacity of 169 MW.
- Generar S.A. E.S.P., this company acquired by Celsia by an OPA, owned the Rio Piedras central, Jericó, Antioquia, which has a generating capacity of 19.9 MW.
- Proyecto Hidromontañitas, which the company acquired 100% of the assets related to the project, included, among others, studies, environmental permits and licenses required for the construction of the 19.9 MW hydro plant, located in jurisdiction of the municipalities of Donmatías and Santa Rosa de Osos, Antioquia.
Similarly, in 2008 the compañía entered into a share sale-purchase agreement with Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc., of its part in Colombiana Kimberly Colpapel S.A and Papeles del Cauca S.A. This transaction was completed on January 23rd, 2009.
On the other side, in 2008 Colinversiones adopted a new Code of Corporate Governance, which contains transcendent topics for the functioning of society and the strengthening of relations with shareholders, employees and other groups of interest.
In December 2009, Colinversiones, through its subsidiary Colener S.A.S acquires 47.3% of Pacific Power company S.A., EPSA, after making a public acquisition offer (OPA).
EPSA, located in Yumbo (Valle del Cauca), is the fifth largest electricity generator in the country with a capacity of 1,068 MW as follows: 914 MW in nine hydroelectric plants (Alto Anchicayá, Bajo Anchicayá, Salvajina, Calima, Hidroprado and four smaller plants); 140 MW in a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) held with Termovalle until 2018, and 14 MW available in three plants of CETSA S.A. E.S.P., of which EPSA owns 87.54% (Riofrío I, II and The Rumor Riofrio). In distribution and commercialization, EPSA serves 39 municipalities of Valle del Cauca, where has more than 480,000 customers, including residential, commercial and industrial users; also has 273.2 km of transmission lines of 230 KV.
In late December 2009, a merger was perfected by absorsion among Colivenrsiones S.A. E.S.P. (Celsia today, and acquiring company), Generar S.A E.S.P., Meriléctrica S.A., Meriléctrica S.A. & Co.. S.C.A. E.S.P., Compañía Colombiana de Energía S.A.S. and Hidromontañitas S.A. E.S.P. (acquired companies), in order to improve work processes and the corporate structure.
The company continues to make progress in strengthening its strategic focus, energy, advancing significantly in the electricity generation capacity expansion project and working on strengthening its existing businesses in this sector. This is why continues with the construction of Flores IV, expected to be operational in early 2011, and with the hydro central Hidromontañitas which commissioning is scheduled for the second half of 2011.
In late March 2010, Colener S.A.S. a subsidiary of Colinversiones, signed a preliminary agreement with Inversiones Argos S.A, to acquire 9,326,267 EPSA shares, which would increase its participation to 173,389,850 shares, representing 50.01 % stake in the company. This operation was completed on April 30th this year.
On April 26th, 2010, a stock split of the company was conducted (each share was divided by ten), by which it sought to have a nominal value reduction of it, increasing the number of shares in circulation, from 71.958.450 a 719.584.500.
Developing its strategic redirectioning process and targeting investments in the energy sector, Colinversiones signed a share sale agreement with New Continents Hotels Inc. and The Flagship Hotels Inc. for the sale of its direct and indirect participation, at the Hotel de Pereira S.A. and Medellin Hotels Promoter S.A. (Hotel Intercontinental Medellin and Hotel Las Lomas) operation which was executed on January, 12th, 2011.
By 2012, over 97% of the company’s assets were concentrated in the energy sector. In addition, the company became one of the major players in the energy market in the country.
In that sense, the name “Compañía Colombiana de Inversiones”, (Colinversiones), which was a great name choice at the time, didn’t show the nature of the business and what the organization wanted to project any more.
Given this reality and in order to adopt a name that would better position the company as a distinguished player, leading and innovating in the energy sector and to achieve greater recognition among local and international investor community, the General Assembly of Shareholders approved the change of the company name to Celsia S.A. E.S.P.
For the selection of this name a rigorous process was made, in which several surveys and research mechanisms supported by renowned consultants were completed.
Celsia is excellence. That is the meaning of the word. It is a name that makes possible to transmit the corporate values of the organization: Passion for service and teamwork, Creativity and entrepreneurship, Commitment aimed to outstanding results, Versatility and dynamism, Joy and warmth, Commitment to Sustainability.
Following authorization from its Board of Directors, Celsia signed an agreement with the Paris-based multinational company GDF SUEZ to acquire its thermoelectric, hydroelectric, and wind energy generation assets in Panama and Costa Rica, for a company value of USD 840 million.
The assets involved in this transaction increase the current energy generation capacity by 535 MW, 367 MW of which correspond to thermoelectric generation, and 118 MW to hydroelectric generation in Panama, as well as 50 MW of non-conventional renewable energy from the Guanacaste Wind Farm in Costa Rica. The organization thus reaches a total installed capacity of 2,312 MW (+30%), with an expected energy generation average of 8,113 GWh (+32%).
With the acquisition of this 20% holding, Celsia becomes the second largest generator of electricity in Panama, and the fifth largest in Costa Rica.
Additionally, the organization’s first solar distributed generator, installed in the Frayle de Palmira residential complex, went into commercial operation on December 13, 2014. This generator has a peak capacity of 51.5 kilowatt (kWp), and is producing energy for the use of more than 400 families in this sector of Valle del Cauca. Furthermore, and within the new business unit of the company, EPSA’s first commercial solar photo voltaic system began operations at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente in Cali, installed on the rooftops of the north and south parking garages of the University.
The company will also take important steps this year on the road to sustainability with it’s adherence to the CEO Water Mandate, and it’s acceptance as a member of the International Hydraulic Power Center. Both of these achievements are highly recognized and, according to specialized local media, they warrant it’s admission into the group of the 20 most sustainable companies in Colombia.
2015 - 2016
The redefinition of the organization’s strategy is decisive for the future. We look for superior results for the company, for the people and entities with whom we relate.
In 2015, after a work oriented by the Board of Directors and the Steering Committee, Celsia made a new strategic approach focused on the client.
Taking into account that asset management is today our core business, we have found new opportunities in the face of market needs, which are represented in the identification of three new businesses:
We want to expand our customer base in the markets in which we have a presence today and penetrate new ones, with innovation in a preponderant place, to offer solutions tailored to the needs of our consumers.