Submitted by Puget Sound Energy.
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) announced today it is welcoming increased investment from two existing shareholders and the addition of two new investors to the group of public- and private-sector pension and retirement fund managers with stakes in the utility.
Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), on behalf of certain of its clients, and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) are increasing positions they’ve held since 2009 by 6 percent and 4 percent to 13.6 percent and 20.9 percent, respectively. The two new investors, OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in Ontario, Canada, and Dutch pension fund manager PGGM will have 23.9 percent and 10 percent positions, respectively. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), an investor since 2009, continues its 31.6 percent position.
AIMCo, BCI, OMERS and PGGM are acquiring the non-controlling, 44 percent interest held by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP) funds. The funds, which include investments other than PSE, are nearing the end of their terms as was anticipated when the 2009 investment was made.
“An investment in PSE reflects confidence in the future of our region and the dedication and skills of our 3,100 local employees,” said Kimberly Harris, PSE president and chief executive officer. “Our investors share our values and our commitment to serving our customers and ensuring our community remains a great place to live. We are delighted to be welcoming OMERS and PGGM who are long-term and experienced regulated utility investors, and we also recognize the strong support and positive contributions made by Macquarie to PSE since 2009.”
“Investing in a utility means investing in the region it serves,” said Ben Hawkins, senior vice president, Infrastructure and Timber of AIMCo. “We are proud of the partnership we have had with PSE for almost a decade and look forward to having an increased role in their future.”
“PSE is a well-managed, quality core infrastructure company that continues to be a strong fit for the long-term investment objectives of our pension plan and accident fund clients,” said Lincoln Webb, BCI’s senior vice president, infrastructure and renewable resources. “BCI looks forward to continuing and strengthening our long-standing relationship with Puget Sound Energy to ensure that it continues to provide essential electric and gas services to customers in Washington state.”
“We are proud to announce our investment in Puget Sound Energy, and we support PSE’s commitment to its customers and to the community,” said Ralph Berg, OMERS Infrastructure’s executive vice president and global head. “The utility’s focus on reliability, service and enabling a better energy future aligns with what its customers want—and with our principles as patient, long-term investors in high-quality infrastructure assets on behalf of OMERS members,” added Michael Ryder, senior managing director, Americas, for OMERS Infrastructure.
“PGGM invests long-term pension capital in companies that are actively involved in the transition to a low carbon energy future,’’ notes Erik van de Brake, head of Infrastructure at PGGM. ‘’We are pleased to join PSE as a new investor.’’
Today’s announcement will not impact the utility’s customers or employees, with all operations and leadership continuing to be local. The change in investors is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). PSE plans to file for approval of the transaction with the UTC in early September. In addition, PSE will continue to be state and federally regulated and will continue meeting all applicable Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure requirements.
Since 2009, PSE and its investors have made continuous improvements and investments on behalf of customers and local communities. (See also our fact sheet.)
- Kept energy costs reasonable, with monthly electric bills below those of the area’s two largest public utilities and natural gas bills the same as in 2003.
- Continuously upgraded our natural gas and electric system to better deliver safe, dependable service to our 1.5 million residential and business customers. This includes investments of more than $5 billion in projects that are part of the critical infrastructure that serves our communities.
- Maintained local employment, headquarters and leadership.
- Committed to reducing our carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2040.
- Brought more clean energy to the Northwest with the expansion of the Wild Horse Wind Facility, construction of the Lower Snake River Wind Facility, and upgrades and modernization of our Baker River and Snoqualmie River hydroelectric facilities.
- Improved customer service with new web and mobile tools for account management, bill payment and outage information.
- Helped our residential and business customers lower their bills through energy efficiency programs that cut electricity consumption by more than 21 billion kilowatt hours— that’s enough to power every home and business we serve for a full year.
- Achieved first-quartile national electric utility rankings for employee safety each year since 2012.