Enbridge to move C$17 bln of Canadian assets to affiliate, raise div

Wed Dec 3, 2014 11:01pm EST
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Dec 3 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc, Canada's largest pipeline company, said it will transfer its Canadian liquids pipelines business and certain renewable energy assets to its Canadian affiliate Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc, and raised its quarterly dividend by a third.

Enbridge said C$17 billion ($14.95 billion) of combined carrying value of assets will be transferred to the affiliate and it will retain operating responsibility for the liquids pipelines business.

"Our plan ... comes after an extensive review of the potential to further enhance the value of our $44 billion growth program and lower the cost of funding for that program and for new investment opportunities," Chief Executive Al Monaco said in a statement.

Enbridge's Canadian liquids pipelines business comprises of Enbridge Pipelines Inc and Enbridge Pipelines (Athabasca) Inc.

The company said it expects to complete the transfer of its Canadian business by mid-2015, subject to certain approvals.

Enbridge is also reviewing a potential restructuring plan to transfer its directly held U.S. liquids pipeline assets to Enbridge Energy Partners LP, its U.S. affiliate.

The potential drop down of Enbridge's U.S. liquids pipelines systems would add substantial new sources of growing cash flows to EEP's portfolio of liquids pipeline systems, the company said in a statement.

Enbridge raised its quarterly common share dividend by 33 percent to 47 Canadian cents per share.

The company also increased its dividend payout policy range to 75-85 percent of adjusted earnings, from 60-70 percent.

Enbridge forecast 2015 adjusted earnings per share of C$2.05-C$2.35. Analysts' are expecting Enbridge to earn C$2.24 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

($1 = 1.1368 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)