Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX: AQN)(NYSE: AQN) («APUC» or «Algonquin») announced today that it has entered into an agreement to create a joint venture («AAGES») with Seville, Spain-based Abengoa, S.A. (MCE: ABG) («Abengoa») to identify, develop, and construct clean energy and water infrastructure assets with a global focus.
Concurrently with the creation of the AAGES joint venture, APUC has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase from Abengoa a 25% equity interest in Atlantica Yield plc (NASDAQ: ABY) («Atlantica») for a total purchase price of approx. US $608 million, based on a price of US $24.25 per ordinary share of Atlantica plus a contingent payment of up to US $0.60 per-share payable two years after closing, subject to certain conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. No shareholder approvals are required.
«The formation of the AAGES joint venture with Abengoa and our investment in Atlantica are important first steps of Algonquin’s strategy to enter markets outside of Canada and the United States,» commented Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of APUC. «AAGES provides a unique opportunity for APUC to grow in selected international markets with a proven, experienced partner, and to access a deep pipeline of new opportunities which will create enduring value for our shareholders. The investment in Atlantica is expected to be immediately accretive, complementary to our existing portfolio, and further supports our long-term dividend growth objectives.»
Atlantica owns and operates a geographically diverse, long-term contracted portfolio of 21 facilities representing 1.7 GW of clean power generating capacity, 1,770 kilometers of electric transmission lines, and two desalination plants in selected global markets including North America, South America, Europe and Africa. APUC’s commitment to Atlantica is expected to strengthen Atlantica’s prospects through the addition of new assets, thereby accelerating the growth of its cash available for distribution. The projects expected to be undertaken by AAGES under a new right of first offer agreement represent an important source of future growth for Atlantica.
The strategic rationale underlying the transaction includes:
- New joint venture to be the cornerstone of APUC's International development plans - The AAGES joint venture with Abengoa represents a new clean energy and water infrastructure development platform and offers a balanced approach to global expansion for APUC. - Significant Near-Term Opportunities: AAGES' priority is expected to be placed on completing near-term construction projects that closely align with APUC's criteria for international development. - Capitalizes on Core Competencies of Partners: In the pursuit of further international expansion, AAGES will capitalize on Abengoa's broad international presence and expertise in key global markets and Algonquin's depth of project development experience. - The investment in Atlantica is aligned with APUC's objective of delivering stable and growing cash flows to shareholders - - Diverse Portfolio of Long-Term Contracted Assets: Atlantica's portfolio of assets is fully contracted(1), with an average off-take contract life of 21 years(2), and its operations are diversified both by region and by asset type. - Accretive to APUC Financial Metrics: The cash flows from the interest in Atlantica are expected to provide immediate accretion to APUC, representing mid-single digit EPS percentage accretion over the coming three to four years. - Significant Growth Consistent with APUC Strategy: APUC is granted the right to pre-emptively participate in equity issuances by Atlantica related to the current right of first offer pipeline of approx. US $800 million and AAGES supported construction-stage assets of approx. US $300 million. - Important new asset class exposure - Through its investment in Atlantica and the AAGES joint venture, APUC will gain exposure to the increasingly important energy storage sector through concentrating solar and to solutions that address the global need for water desalination capacity.
(1) Regulated in the case of Spain
(2) As of December 31, 2016
Financing of the Transaction
APUC will purchase a 25% interest in Atlantica based on a per-share price of US $24.25 plus a contingent payment of up to US $0.60 per-share payable two years after closing subject to certain conditions. The total investment cost of approx. US $608 million will be partially financed through a concurrent bought deal $500 million common equity offering of APUC shares, and debt or preferred shares issued consistent with APUC’s capital structure and target credit metrics. In connection with the proposed transaction, APUC expects no changes to its BBB (stable) credit rating by S&P.
Raymond James Ltd. acted as lead financial advisor and Scotia Capital also acted as financial advisor to APUC. Husch Blackwell and Pinsent Masons acted as legal advisors to APUC.
APUC will host a conference call for investors and analysts at 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 to discuss the Transaction.
Conference call details:
Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Start Time: 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time
Phone Number: Toll free within North America: 1-866-769-3843 or Toronto: 437-828-0101
Conference ID: Please ask to join the Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. conference call
Presentation Access: http://services.choruscall.ca/links/algonquinpower20171101.html
For those unable to attend the live call, a digital recording will be available for replay two hours after the call by dialing 1-855-669-9658 or 1-604-674-8052, access code 1850, from November 1, 2017 until November 15, 2017. The webcast presentation will remain accessible via the URL above or APUC’s website at www.AlgonquinPowerandUtilities.com.
APUC is a diversified generation, transmission and distribution utility with over $10 billion of total assets in the United States and Canada representing more than 1,250 MW of installed capacity. Through its two business groups, APUC provides rate regulated natural gas, water, and electricity generation, transmission, and distribution utility services to over 750,000 customers in the United States, and is committed to being a global leader in the generation of clean energy through its portfolio of long-term contracted wind, solar and hydroelectric generating facilities. APUC delivers continuing growth through an expanding pipeline of renewable energy development projects, organic growth within its rate regulated generation, distribution and transmission businesses, and the pursuit of accretive acquisitions. Common shares and preferred shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols AQN, AQN.PR.A, and AQN.PR.D. APUC’s common shares are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AQN.