Halifax, Nova Scotia, Castries, St. Lucia, Jan. 16, 2007 — Emera Inc. has invested $22 million to acquire a 19% interest in St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (Lucelec) from the Caribbean Basin Power Fund (CBPF). CBPF is managed by Energy Investors Funds, an American private equity fund manager.
“The Caribbean market has attractive growth prospects, and opportunities for Emera to deploy its operational expertise,” said Chris Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera. “This modest investment gives us a low risk vehicle to assess whether there is broader business potential for us in the region, and at the same time, provides attractive returns.”
Lucelec is a vertically integrated electric utility serving more than 50,000 customers, with exclusive license to generate, transmit and distribute electricity on the island of St. Lucia to 2045. The utility has 66 MW of generating capacity, primarily oil fired, and 800 kilometers of electricity transmission and distribution assets. Lucelec is a cost of service utility, with a minimum rate of return of 10% on a 50% equity base.
Emera will hold two seats on Lucelec’s 11 member board or directors. Other significant investors in Lucelec include First Citizens Bank Ltd., from Trinidad & Tobago, and locally the National Insurance Corp., the Castries City Council, and the Government of St. Lucia. Lucelec common shares trade on the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange under the symbol SLEC.
Emera expects to finance the acquisition using existing credit facilities. The transaction is expected to close by January 19, 2007.
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