MONTREAL, Jan. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - On Friday, January 28, 2011, Publigas and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec signed an agreement in
principle that allows the Caisse to acquire a stake in Fluxys G, the
parent company of Fluxys SA, through a capital increase of up to €150
million. This transaction is subject to approval by the Publigas Board
Daniel Termont, Chairman of Publigas, commented on the agreement: "Upon
the purchase of all Fluxys shares held by Electrabel, Publigas
announced that it would seek new partners who, with Publigas as
majority shareholder, will fully support the company's vision and
strategy. We therefore warmly welcome the Caisse de dépôt et placement
du Québec as a strategic partner whose stake will enhance the financial
strength and stability of Fluxys G's shares. Publigas and the Caisse
share a common vision when it comes to the long-term development of the
natural gas market in Northwest Europe and the profitable expansion of
the company's operations."
"We are very pleased with our ownership position in Fluxys G, alongside
Publigas. This investment fits our profile as a long-term investor for
our depositors and is completely aligned with our business model in the
infrastructure sector. For the Caisse, this is a high-quality asset
that will provide consistent returns," said Michael Sabia, Caisse
President and Chief Executive Officer.
"The Caisse has solid gas infrastructure experience, primarily in Québec
with its significant stake in Gaz Métro but also in the U.S. and U.K.
Our 33.5% stake in Interconnector, a company in which Fluxys also has a
15% interest, has allowed us to better understand the Fluxys Group and
realize its potential value," added Mr. Sabia.
Investment and development program support
The agreement in principle signed on Friday, January 28, 2011
specifically allows the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to
acquire a 10% stake in Fluxys G through a €150 million capital
increase. Publigas and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec are
confident that this agreement will lead to fruitful cooperation within
the Fluxys Group. The capital increase will support the Group's
investment and development program in Belgium and abroad.
Closing before the end of the first half of 2011
Subject to approval by the Publigas Board of Directors and finalization
of definitive agreements, the closing of the transaction will take
place before the end of the first half of 2011.
Important agreement elements
As part of this transaction, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
takes over 10% of the guarantee granted to Fluxys by its shareholders
at the time, which is the value of the transit activities included in
the acquisition of Distrigas & C° in June 2008. In 2010, upon the
buyout of Electrabel's interest in Fluxys, this guarantee was fully
assumed by Publigas.
In terms of corporate governance, the agreement signed between Publigas
and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec stipulates that the
Caisse will have proportional representation in the administrative
bodies of Fluxys G et de Fluxys SA.
About the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a financial institution
that manages funds primarily for public and private pension and
insurance plans. At December 31, 2009, it held CA$131.6 billion of net
assets. As one of the leading institutional fund managers in Canada,
the Caisse invests in the main financial markets as well as in private
equity and real estate.
The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has significant gas transport
infrastructure sector expertise, particularly through its stakes in the
Substantial interest in Gaz Métro (the leading natural gas distribution
company gas in Quebec) and Enbridge Inc. (one of the largest oil and
gas transport companies in North America) through the Caisse's
investment in Trencap
Major shareholder of Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (operator of energy
infrastructure in the U.S.) Inc.
Interconnector (UK) Limited (33.5% shareholder)
In addition, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has investments
in many European companies, including:
South East Water Limited (regulated company that supplies drinking water
to 2.1 million customers in England)
Keolis SA (major player in public passenger transport in France and
HOCHTIEF AirPort Capital GmbH (owns stakes in airports in Athens,
Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Sydney).
For more information: www.lacaisse.com.
Publigas is the municipal holding company for Belgian natural gas
About Fluxys G
As a transmission infrastructure company operating on the North-Western
European natural gas market, Fluxys G wishes to enhance security of
supply and the functioning of the market by promoting cross-border
natural gas flows and transfers in that region.
In Belgium, Fluxys G builds and operates infrastructure for natural gas
transmission, natural gas storage and liquefied natural gas
terminalling. Fluxys and Fluxys LNG are for that purpose appointed
independent system operators. As their activities are of general
economic interest, both companies aim to set competitive tariffs and
continuously strive to reinforce the role of the Fluxys grid as a
natural gas crossroads.
To foster the integration of the North-Western European natural gas
market, Fluxys G develops a profitable set of stakes in and industrial
partnerships with companies in the business of natural gas transmission
and storage, LNG terminalling and facilitating spot markets.
Safety, efficiency, sustainability and profitability are at the centre
of Fluxys G's approach.
SOURCE CAISSE DE DEPOT ET PLACEMENT DU QUEBEC
For further information:
Tel.: +32 9 266 50 00
Tel.: +32 475 26 00 19
Tel.: +32 4 223 80 11
|Caisse de dépôt et placements du|
Tel.: (514) 847-5493