According to Light & Power Holdings Limited 2009 Financials, “sixty-two per cent of the shares in Light & Power Holdings Ltd (LPH) are held by approximately 2,800 Barbadian shareholders.” The recent offer by Emera Inc. (“Emera” – Toronto Stock Exchange listing: “EMA”) to make an offer to other shareholders in LPH has been approved by the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE). LPH is the parent company of the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P).
It is noteworthy that as at 20 December 2010 the closing price listed on the BSE is BDS12.00. The offer made by Emera Inc “to purchase all issued and outstanding common shares in Light & Power Holdings at a cash price per share of BB$25.70 will be hard to ignore by the 2800 Barbadian shareholders. Under normal circumstances it would be hard to ignore the significant capital gains to be made, the offer is made all the more attractive in a recessionary environment. It has been reported the offer (25.70BDS) by Emera Inc mirrors what it paid to Leucadia National Corporation in May 2010 to acquire its current 38% of common shareholding in LPH.
The prospect of the BL&P being managed by a Canadian 5.8 billion asset based company appears to be an attractive proposition, on the surface. No doubt the management of the company must be feel pleased that a highly successful company like Emera Inc would ‘cherrypick’ LPH to add to its portfolio. One cannot help but wonder however at the timing of the recent move by LPH to apply to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for a rate review. In January the FTC responded favourably by granting a rate of return of 10% instead of the 10.48% requested by LPH.
A question which was asked by a commenter “can you imagine a foreign based company owning a sovereign nation only power supply? We have really lost our way for thirty pieces of silver.” maybe of concern to many Barbadians. Such a concern comes on the announcement that government is actively considering divesting itself of the highly profitable Barbados National Bank shares owned by Republic Bank Limited based in Trinidad. It appears the open door policy of Barbados extends further than immigration. Almost every profitable or prized Barbados company has now surrendered to foreign ownership. While BU is not against foreign investment flowing into Barbados, one senses that there has not been any purpose or strategy guiding how we allow foreign interest to cherrypick our best companies in recent years. Is it conceivable that the national agenda of Barbados is now being influenced from boardrooms in Port of Spain, Toronto and London? Some may respond though, hasn’t this always been the case? We may have removed the chains from our ankles but so they remain on our minds if we are to judge by our actions in 2010.
Read the Press Release announcing BSE approval
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Emera Inc. (“Emera” – Toronto Stock Exchange listing “EMA”) wishes to advise all shareholders of Light & Power Holdings Ltd. (“Light & Power Holdings” – Barbados Stock Exchange listing: “LPH”) that the offer to purchase all issued and outstanding common shares in Light & Power Holdings at a cash price per share of BB$25.70 (twenty five Barbados dollars and seventy Barbados cents) has been approved by the Barbados Securities Commission and the Barbados Stock Exchange.
The offer will open on December 20, 2010 and close 35 days later on January 24, 2011. The Offer and Circular will be sent to all Light & Power Holdings shareholders not less than 28 days prior to the close of the Offer.
At the current U.S. dollar to Barbados dollar exchange rate, this offer is the same as the price Emera paid to Leucadia National Corporation when it acquired 38% of Light & Power Holdings in May 2010.
Light & Power Holdings is the parent company of The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (“BLPC”). BLPC is the sole electric utility operator on the island of Barbados, serving 120,000 customers. BLPC has three power generation stations consisting of 239 MW of installed capacity.
Emera Inc. (EMA and EMA.PR.A -TSX) is an energy and services company with $5.8 billion Canadian dollars in assets. Electricity is Emera’s core business. Approximately 94% of Emera’s revenues are earned by Nova Scotia Power Inc (NSPI), Bangor Hydro Electric Company (BHE) and the Brunswick Pipeline. NSPI and BHE are wholly-owned regulated electric utilities which together serve 603,000 customers. The Brunswick Pipeline is a 145 km gas pipeline in New Brunswick. Emera also owns 19% of St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited, which serves more than 50,000 customers on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, 25% of Grand Bahama Power Company which serves 19,000 customers on the Caribbean island of Grand Bahama and 38% of Light & Power Holdings, which serves 120,000 customers on the Caribbean island of Barbados through its regulated electric utility, The Barbados Light and Power Company. In addition to its electric utility investments, Emera owns Bayside Power, a 260 MW gas-fired power plant in Saint John, New Brunswick; Emera Energy Services, a physical natural gas and power marketing and asset management business; a joint venture interest in Bear Swamp, a 600 megawatt pumped storage hydro-electric facility in northern Massachusetts; a 12.9% interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline; and an 8.2% interest in Open Hydro.
For further information:
Emera – Investor Relations:
Jenifer Nicholson, CA
Senior Director, Stakeholder Relations
Emera – Media Relations:
SOURCE Emera Inc.