Stake sold by Perth utility
SSE in £621m deal with Middle East investors
Wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority have acquired a 16.7% holding in Scotia Gas Networks (SGN).
The sale, due to complete next month, follows a review announced by SSE in May. SSE will retain a 33.3% equity stake in SGN.
Perth-based SSE, trading as Scottish Hydro-Electric, will announce what it intends to do with the proceeds in its interim results statement on 9 November.
When it announced the review, it said that it would expect to return the proceeds to shareholders or invest the money if the right opportunity arose.
SSE acquired a 50% equity stake in SGN in 2005 for £505m. SGN owns and operates two economically-regulated networks which distribute gas to almost six million properties in Scotland and the South of England.
It also undertakes other gas-related commercial activities. Since 2005 SGN has become a gas distribution business which has produced £750m in dividend payments and other distributions to SSE.
Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: “The sale of a 16.7% stake confirms SSE’s ability to deliver value for shareholders through focused, timely disposals while at the same time retaining a diverse range of regulated and unregulated businesses in order to support long term dividend growth.
“We look forward to working with all of SGN’s shareholders to support the continued success of the business in meeting the needs of customers and earning a return for investors.”