(Source: Canada Newswire)trackingHALIFAX, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - (EMA-TSX):
Emera Inc. announced today that it has purchased an additional 55.4 percent of direct and indirect interest in Grand Bahama Power Company Limited (GBPC) from MaruEnergy Grand Bahama Limited, an indirect subsidiary of Marubeni TAQA Caribbean Ltd., for US $82 million. The acquisition brings Emera's direct and indirect interest in GBPC to 80.4 percent.
In 2008, Emera acquired a 25 percent interest in GBPC through its acquisition of 50 percent of the shares of ICD Utilities Limited (ICDU), the holding company listed on The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (ICD-BISX) which holds 50 percent of the shares of GBPC. This acquisition also makes Emera Inc. the majority shareholder of ICDU. The remaining 19.6 per cent of GBPC is held by other ICDU shareholders.
"Emera's Caribbean presence is strengthened by our majority ownership in Grand Bahama Power," said Chris Huskilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Emera Inc. "We look forward to serving the customers on Grand Bahama and bringing the efficiency and reliability of the electrical system on the island up to Emera standards."
"We welcome Emera's increased investment in the Grand Bahama Power Corporation," said Minister Neko Grant, Minister of Public Works and Transport. "We look forward to working with Emera to the mutual benefit of the company and Grand Bahama."
GBPC is the only utility operator on Grand Bahama Island, serving 19,000 customers. The generation consists of one facility with 137 MW of installed oil-fired capacity. The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited regulates the utility and has granted GBPC a licensed, regulated and exclusive franchise to produce, transmit and distribute electricity on the Island until 2054. There is a fuel pass through mechanism and flexible tariff adjustment policies to ensure that costs are recovered and a reasonable return is earned.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in the Bahamas. Through its investment in GBPC and ICDU, Emera will appoint a number of new Bahamian members to the GBPC Board of Directors. Emera will finance today's aquisition through exisiting credit facilities.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information: This release contains forward-looking information and should not be read as a guarantee of future events, performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether, or the times at which, such events, performance or results will be achieved. Emera disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.
About Emera: Emera Inc. (EMA and EMA.PR.A -TSX) is an energy and services company with $5.8 billion Canadian dollars in assets. Electricity is Emera's core business. Approximately 94% of Emera's revenues are earned by Nova Scotia Power Inc (NSPI), Bangor Hydro Electric Company (BHE) and the Brunswick Pipeline. NSPI and BHE are wholly-owned regulated electric utilities which together serve 603,000 customers. The Brunswick Pipeline is a 145 km gas pipeline in New Brunswick. Emera also owns 19% of St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited, which serves more than 50,000 customers on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, 25% of Grand Bahama Power Company which serves 19,000 customers on the Caribbean island of Grand Bahama and 38% of Light & Power Holdings which serves 120,000 customers on the Caribbean island of Barbados through its regulated electric utility, The Barbados Light and Power Company. In addition to its electric utility investments, Emera owns Bayside Power, a 260 MW gas-fired power plant in Saint John, New Brunswick; Emera Energy Services, a physical natural gas and power marketing and asset management business; a joint venture interest in Bear Swamp, a 600 megawatt pumped storage hydro-electric facility in northern Massachusetts; a 12.9% interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline; and an 8.2% interest in Open Hydro. Visit Emera on the web at www.emera.com
About GBPC: Grand Bahama Power Company Ltd. is a totally integrated utility company serving the island's 45,000 residents and commercial establishments from east to west. The company employs over 200 Bahamians and has one of the lowest electricity rates in the Caribbean. For more information about Grand Bahama Power Company please visit: www.gb-power.com
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