QUEENS PARK – Investors got a final shot at purchasing shares in Ontario’s Hydro One as the Wynne Government is concluding its initiative to broaden the ownership of Hydro One, and will dedicate the net proceeds towards the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history.
The Liberals today offered 120,000,000 common shares at $23.25 per share for total gross proceeds of approximately $2.8 billion, in this offering.
Ontario NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns issued the following statement about the further privatization of Hydro One: “By giving up the province’s majority stake in Hydro One , Kathleen Wynne is doing even more damage to our hydro system. Her short-sighted sell off of Hydro One will drive up electricity bills for the residents, businesses and municipalities of our province.
“Today’s announcement shows that Premier Wynne and her Liberal government are still refusing to listen to the majority of Ontarians who say no to the privatization of their electricity system. Ontarians didn’t vote for this. Electricity isn’t a luxury. It shouldn’t be priced like one”.
Tabuns stated, “If elected in 2018 New Democrats will fix the electricity system broken by private power deals signed by Liberals and Conservatives, and put Hydro One back into public hands where it belongs, so that the benefits can help fund hospitals, schools and vital public services.”
Scope of Deal
The Wynne Government also granted an over-allotment option to the underwriters to purchase up to an additional 12,000,000 common shares, which if exercised in full, would result in total gross proceeds of approximately $3.1 billion.
With the completion of this transaction, the Liberals will have exceeded its objective to raise $9 billion in gross proceeds and other revenue benefits from broadening the ownership of Hydro One.
As a result, the Liberal Government will have completed this initiative and does not anticipate any further offerings of Hydro One shares by the Province, other than sales for the collective benefit of Indigenous communities resulting from previously disclosed discussions.
In a media statement, the Wynne Government states, “The Province will remain the largest shareholder in Hydro One and is prohibited by law from reducing its ownership below 40 per cent. By law, no other shareholder or group of shareholders is permitted to own more than 10 per cent of the company”.
“By leveraging the value of Hydro One shares, the government is investing in priority transit and transportation projects that will help people in their everyday lives, including GO Regional Express Rail, light rail transit, improvements to roads and bridges and natural gas network expansion in rural and northern communities. These projects are also creating jobs and strengthening the economy, with data showing every $1 spent on public infrastructure increases GDP by $1.43 in the short term and by up to $3.83 in the long term”.