Malaysia’s Malakoff Corporation Berhad has purchased a 40 per cent stake in Bahrain’s Hidd Power Company after the merger of the UK’s International Power (IP) and France’s GDF Suez forced them to sell off part of their investment because of competition issues.

The acquisition of IP left the merged IP-GDF Suez with a 70 per cent stake in the Hidd plant, with the remainder held by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation.

Sumitomo had an option to buy the stake, but declined, paving the way for a third party to invest in the plant. The value of the sale has not been disclosed, but the stake is thought to have an enterprise value of over $200m according to sources close to the sale.

One source says that the sale is expected to be completed by the summer.

The Hidd plant was handed over to the private sector in 2006 as part of a $1.3bn project to expand and upgrade the existing plant, which was owned by the government. Malakoff had been one of the other bidders for the project at that time.

The merger of IP and GDF Suez created the largest power developer in the region, prompting monopoly concerns in several countries.