Sat, Sep 15, 2018 - Page 10 News List

CK Infrastructure thinking of listing some UK assets

HEAVY BALANCE SHEET:After a decade of acquisitions on the British islands, the Hong Kong Li family’s investment firm owns about one-third of UK passenger trains

Bloomberg

Hong Kong tycoon Victor Li’s (李澤鉅) CK Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (CKI, 長江基建), which owns energy and water utilities globally, is considering listing some UK assets through a London initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

CK Infrastructure is speaking with investment banks about the listing of certain UK holdings through a potential multibillion-US dollar fund, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

DISCUSSIONS

The company is still discussing the entity’s structure and which assets to include, and it might decide not to pursue the transaction, they said.

The Asian investor built a stable of British infrastructure assets ranging from sewage to gas and railways over the last decade. The potential listing could help CK Infrastructure replenish capital after the acquisition spree, giving it more firepower to go after bigger deals in the future.

DEFENSIVE

“The move is positive to CKI,” Ample Capital Ltd (豐盛金融集團) Hong Kong director of asset management Alex Wong (黃國英) said by telephone yesterday. “It’s also good timing for them to divest now, as investors are looking for defensive plays.”

Shares of CK Infrastructure rose 1.3 percent to HK$62 at 11:36am in Hong Kong trading, giving the company a market value of about US$21 billion.

A group led by CK Infrastructure in 2010 acquired the UK power networks from Electricite de France SA for £5.8 billion (US$7.62 billion at the current exchange rate) and a year later bought utility Northumbrian Water for £2.4 billion.

In 2015, CK Infrastructure acquired Eversholt Rail for £2.5 billion to gain control of almost one-third of Britain’s passenger trains.

Some assets are jointly held with Power Assets Holdings Ltd (電能實業), a separately listed arm of CK Infrastructure, and Li’s flagship conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (長江和記).

A representative for CK Infrastructure did not respond to requests for comment.

CK Asset Holdings Ltd (長江實業), which is also backed by Li’s family, has made infrastructure acquisitions of its own over the past few years in Australia, Germany and Canada.

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