Citing asset sales as an important component of its funding plan, Emera Inc. has agreed to sell its three natural gas generation plants in New England to an affiliate of The Carlyle Group for $590 million, the Nova Scotia-based company announced Monday.
The Bridgeport Energy, Tiverton Power and Rumford Power generation facilities have a combined capacity of 1,100 MW, and will be managed by Cogentrix, Carlyle’s management platform in the power generation sector. Cogentrix will also assume operations and maintenance as well as energy management responsibilities for the portfolio.
Cogentrix currently manages Carlyle Power Partners’ fleet of power plants in the Northeast U.S. totaling approximately 1,400 MW.
“Through this acquisition, Carlyle Power Partners will increase its generation capacity in the attractive New England market, making us one of the largest owners of power generation facilities in the region,” said Carlyle Group Managing Director and Head of Carlyle Power Partners Matt O’Connor. “We look forward to leveraging our existing market knowledge to create additional value for Bridgeport Energy, Tiverton Power and Rumford Power, building on their already strong track records of operational excellence.”
The transaction is part of the three-year funding plan Emera introduced on a call to discuss its third quarter earnings results. On the Nov. 9 call, CEO Scott Balfour said the company was looking “more aggressively” at internal sources of capital as an important component of its funding plan in response to higher cost of equity. Management continued to evaluate its portfolio through a number of financial and strategic lenses including value, marketability and opportunities for future growth.
The company chief said the deal “increases Emera’s financing flexibility to capitalize on our regulated growth opportunities today and in the future. Our New England facilities delivered solid financial results during the five years of our ownership, and distinguished themselves with industry leading safety and operational performance.”
The transaction, which is expected to close in 1Q2019, is subject to the regulatory approvals of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and under the provisions of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act.