Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario government to sell another $1.7B of Hydro One shares

Controversial privatization process continues; latest sale will leave province with an approximately 70 per cent stake in company



The province plans to kick off Hydro One's privatization with a 15 per cent offering that will eventually be expanded to 60 per cent. PHOTO: Raysonho, via Wikimedia Commons

The province began the public utility’s privitization with a hotly-debated IPO last fall. PHOTO: Raysonho, via Wikimedia Commons

TORONTO—The Ontario government is selling more shares of Hydro One Ltd. in a move that could raise almost $2 billion for the province.

The government and the electricity transmission and distribution company say they have entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters for the secondary offering on a bought deal basis of some 72.4 million shares.

The shares are being sold at $23.65 apiece for total gross proceeds of about $1.71 billion.

Under an over-allotment option exercisable for up to 30 days following closing, the province could sell an additional 10.8 million common shares at the same price, raising gross proceeds to about $1.97 billion.

After the offering, the province will continue to hold some 427.7 million common shares representing about 71.9 per cent of the company. That could drop to 70.1 per cent if the over-allotment option is exercised in full.

A statement issued by Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli’s office said that with the latest stock sale the province remains on track to generate approximately $9 billion through broadening ownership in Hydro One.

Net proceeds of the offering will go to the Trillium Trust to invest in transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure.

Hydro One’s initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange was completed Nov. 11.

The company is Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution company with approximately $24.3 billion in assets and 2015 revenues of more than $6.5 billion.

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