UPDATE 1-Enbridge to transfer C$18.7 bln in assets to Enbridge Income Fund

Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:35am EDT
 
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(Adds details on transaction, background)

TORONTO, June 19 (Reuters) - Canada's largest oil pipeline company Enbridge said on Friday it has reached a long anticipated deal to transfer some of its Canadian pipeline and renewable energy assets valued at C$18.7 billion ($15.3 billion) to Enbridge Income Fund, as it moves to boost its dividend and accelerate growth.

In December, Enbridge outlined plans to transfer ownership of the assets and boost its dividend by 33 percent. At the time, the company said it would be transferring C$17 billion worth of assets. Enbridge had said it was aiming to complete the deal by mid-2015.

Calgary-based Enbridge said in addition to dividend growth, the move would improve its funding costs for new projects and in turn drive its growth initiatives beyond 2018. Enbridge wants to build the ambitious and controversial Northern Gateway pipeline that would take oil from Alberta's oil sands to a Pacific coast port in British Columbia.

Enbridge Income Fund, which is operated by Enbridge, already holds a diversified portfolio of energy transportation and power generation businesses.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with the Fund on what we believe is truly a win-win transaction," said Enbridge Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco, in a statement.

Enbridge will receive upon closing C$18.7 billion worth of units in the Fund, comprised of C$3 billion of Fund units, along with C$15.7 billion of equity units of Enbridge Income Partners L.P., an indirect subsidiary of the Fund. The Fund is also going to assume C$11.7 billion of debt, linked to the assets being transferred.

The deal to transfer the assets is expected to close in August.

($1 = 1.2254 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto and Sneha Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian and W Simon)