MONTREAL, Sept. 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - SNC-Lavalin (TSX: SNC) today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the Company to initiate a process to sell an equity stake in AltaLink, Alberta's largest regulated electricity transmission company. This process is an important step forward in the implementation of the Company's strategic plan, announced at its Annual General Meeting last May, to consider the reconfiguration and reduction of its ownership in principal assets within its Infrastructure Concession Investments portfolio.
"AltaLink is a tremendous asset. The ongoing expansion program will continue to position it for substantial growth," said Robert G. Card, President and Chief Executive Officer, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. "Through the Company's expertise in Transmission & Distribution project development, AltaLink has become a unique asset that has achieved the strategic objectives necessary to offer value to new investors, whether public shareholders or financial or strategic partners."
Founded in 2002, AltaLink is Canada's only fully independent transmission company, and maintains and operates approximately 12,000 kilometres of transmission lines and 280 substations in the province. AltaLink owns more than half of Alberta's transmission grid and serves 85 percent of its population.
"This announcement represents a significant advancement of our plan to rebalance our portfolio of infrastructure concessions to build value for our Company," said Gerry Grigoropoulos, Executive Vice-President, Infrastructure Concession Investments, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. "The continued execution of our strategic plan was also recently demonstrated by the agreement to sell 66% of our interest in Astoria Project Partners II. In addition, our contract award for Ottawa's first-ever light rail transit system, as part of the Rideau Transit Group Partnership, highlights our ability to replenish high-value Engineering and Construction (E&C) work and concession opportunities."
As presented in SNC-Lavalin's strategic plan this past May, the Company is targeting growth in key E&C markets with a focus on the Resources sector, including oil and gas, mining and metallurgy, and environment and water. It will also seek sustained growth in its existing world-class Clean Power and Infrastructure E&C businesses, while continuing to move forward with its fully integrated services strategy, including project financing, engineering, construction and operations and maintenance.
SNC-Lavalin will explore all options for the sale, including: private sale, public market alternatives or strategic partnership. SNC-Lavalin does not intend to comment further regarding the exploration of options for the sale of an equity stake in AltaLink until such time as the Board has determined the outcome of the process or has otherwise deemed that disclosure is appropriate or required.
SNC-Lavalin has engaged Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets as financial advisors to assist in this process.
SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world, and is a major player in the ownership of infrastructure and in the provision of operations and maintenance services. Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin has offices across Canada and in over 40 other countries around the world, and is currently active in some 100 countries. www.snclavalin.com