Cash for Christmas – Spark Infrastructure sale finalised in $5.2b all-cash transaction


When the Foreign Investment Review Board gave the green light to the sale of grid operator Spark Infrastructure to a North American consortium led by private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in November, it was only a matter of time before the deal went through. 

This week, KKR, along with consortium partners the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), gave themselves an early Christmas present by completing the acquisition of all issued securities of Spark Infrastructure in an all-cash transaction of approximately $5.2 billion. 

Spark owns a 49% stake in Victorian distribution operators Powercor and Citipower along with a 49% stake in South Australia’s distribution network operator SA Power Networks, a 15% stake in NSW transmission operator Transgrid and in July announced plans to develop a 2.5 GW hybrid wind, solar PV and battery storage project in New South Wales while the 100 MW Bomen Solar Farm came online last year.

It was only regulations which stood in the way of the takeover after the company’s shareholders approved the $5.2 billion takeover with 99.51% of security holders voting in favour of the creditor scheme resolution.

A director on KKR’s Infrastructure team in Australia, Andrew Jennings, described Spark Infrastructure as “a world-class business that plays a critical role in Australian communities. Alongside Ontario Teachers’ and PSP Investments, we look forward to working with the management teams of Spark Infrastructure and its portfolio companies, to support the business’ objectives to improve grid stability and build secure, high-quality and cost-effective electricity infrastructure for customers across the country.”

Ontario Teachers’ managing director of infrastructure and natural resources for the Asia Pacific, Bruce Crane, said the investment aligns perfectly with support for the transition to a low-carbon economy. And PSP Investment’s senior director Sandiren Curthan noted: “As Australia transitions away from coal, Spark Infrastructure’s electricity transmission and distribution networks are well-positioned to enable the clean energy transition toward a low-carbon economy.”

Spark Infrastructure (ASX: SKI) was removed from the Official List of the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday, Dec 23, 2021. 

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