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Hong Kong’s CK Group to buy N.Ireland natgas distributor for $945 mln

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Hong Kong’s CK Group to buy N.Ireland natgas distributor for $945 mln

 – A consortium of Hong Kong’s CK Infrastructure, CK Asset, and Power Assets will acquire a Northern Ireland gas distribution network operator, Phoenix Energy, for an enterprise value of about HK$7.4 billion ($945.3 million).

The consortium will acquire Lionrai Investments No.1, which owns Phoenix Energy, from NatWest Group Pension Fund and Utilities of Australia International, the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The enterprise value comprises of equity value of 312.6 million pounds ($389.6 million) and a net debt of 444.4 million pounds, the group said.

Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s infrastructure flagship CK Infrastructure and property arm CK Asset, will each hold 40% in the consortium, while utility investment unit Power Assets will own the remaining 20% stake.

“We are very happy to acquire another quality asset characterised by stable returns,” Victor TK Li, chairman of CK Infrastructure and CK Asset said in the statement.

Lionrai, the entity indirectly holding Phoenix Energy, reported an after-tax loss of 34.3 million pounds in 2021 and 13.6 million pounds in 2022. Its consolidated net asset value stood at 84.4 million pounds at the end of 2022.

Phoenix Energy, established in 1996, owns and operates the largest natural gas distribution network in Northern Ireland, according to its website, covering 78% of gas connections and providing services to 48% of the population in the country.

Shares of CK Infrastructure were trading 0.6% higher, while both CK Asset and Power Assets were up 1.6%, as of 0400 GMT.

 

($1 = 7.8280 Hong Kong dollars)

($1 = 0.8023 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Eileen Soreng)

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