Westcoast Sells Manitoba LDC
Westcoast Energy, a partner in more venturesome natural gas
projects, announced it has sold wholly-owned subsidiary Centra Gas
Manitoba to Manitoba Hydro for $245 million.
"Large projects such as the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline and
Alliance Pipeline will consume a significant amount of capital,"
Westcoast Chairman Michael Phelps said, advising the company has a
capital spending budget in 1999 of $1.6 billion, "the largest
capital budget in the history of the company." Sale of the LDC will
help fund some of that.
"The opportunity presented to Westcoast Energy to realize full
value for the Centra Gas Manitoba asset at a sale price of some 20
times earnings and 2.1 times book value led us to this decision,"
Centra Gas Manitoba is the primary distributor in the province
with 6,500 kilometres of pipeline and secondary distribution lines
delivering about 63 Bcf annually.
With 240,000 customers it is a much smaller unit than
Westcoast's largest distribution company, Union Gas of Ontario,
which has over a million customers.
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