CIC buys 10.5% of Na­tional Grid’s gas divi­sion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By CHRIS PETER­SON in Lon­don chris@mail. chi­nadai­

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s pol­icy of re­view­ing in­vest­ment com­ing from China into Bri­tish in­fra­struc­ture has wit­nessed a new de­vel­op­ment with the an­nounce­ment that a con­sor­tium in­clud­ing China In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion agreed to ac­quire a 61 per­cent stake in Na­tional Grid Plc’s gas divi­sion.

The con­sor­tium, in­clud­ing CIC, Mac­quarie Bank of Aus­tralia and Al­lianz Cap­i­tal Part­ners, will pay 3.6 bil­lion pounds ($4.55 bil­lion) in cash for the stake.

CIC’s stake will be 10.5 per­cent and the sale is ex­pected to be com­pleted by March next year.

May’s govern­ment said it would re­view fu­ture in­fra­struc­ture deals in­volv­ing for­eign buy­ers af­ter she ap­proved Chi­nese in­vest­ment in an 18-bil­lion-pounds Frenchde­signed nu­clear power sta­tion at Hink­ley Point in south­west Eng­land last year.

Thurs­day’s deal is also sub­ject to ap­proval by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

Na­tional Grid said it would con­tinue dis­cus­sions with the win­ning bid­ders about them tak­ing a fur­ther 14 per­cent stake in the busi­ness.

“It is a well-trod­den path in terms of in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in the UK,” said John Pet­ti­grew, CEO of Na­tional Grid.

“There are a large num­ber of these busi­nesses which are owned by US, Euro­pean or Asian in­vestors. The key is that who­ever is suc­cess­ful will have the same obli­ga­tions as Na­tional Grid for se­cu­rity and safety,” he added.

Martin Stan­ley, speak­ing on be­half of the win­ning con­sor­tium, known as MIRA, said: “MIRA has a long-stand­ing oper­a­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in man­ag­ing util­i­ties and crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in the UK, across Europe and around the world, and we are com­mit­ted to be­ing a long-term in­vestor in and a re­spon­si­ble cus­to­dian of Na­tional Grid Gas Distri­bu­tion.”

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