Friday, January 13, 2017

Merger winds swirl around AltaGas

The proponent of the propane export terminal to be built at Ridley Island may have a few more balls in the air at the moment other than their North Coast terminal plans, with AltaGas  currently the subject of merger rumours swirling around financial circles in both Canada and the United States.

The Wall Street Journal got the rumour mill up and running with a story on Thursday that outlined the background to what are said to be negotiations between the Alberta based energy company and WGL Holdings of Washington, D.C.,

Though both would be partners are keeping any comments related to any negotiations and potential impacts of the proposed corporate marriage mostly themselves. For it's part AltaGas  has only made public that they are engaged in talks with what they referred to as a third party.

The Alberta based company also noted that no agreement has been reached as of yet and there was no guarantee that the talks would continue. A statement issued by AltaGas on Thursday outlined that the company would have no further comment on the negotiations related to the potential transaction until it is an appropriate time to do so.

While we are in discussions regarding a potential transaction with a third party, no agreement has been reached and there is no assurance that these discussions will continue or that any transaction will be agreed upon. Until such time as it is appropriate to make a public announcement on any potential transaction, should one occur, AltaGas will not comment further on this matter. Any announcement regarding a potential transaction will be disclosed in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

The merger rumours proved to be beneficial to the share price for WGL Holdings which saw a significant jump in value as the markets closed on Thursday.

While the WGL share price was rising, as the story began to gain some traction through the day yesterday, trading in AltaGas stock was halted late during the Thursday session at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Trading history for AltaGas stock on Thursday prior to the halt
(from TSX website)

Financial observers have estimated that the value of the potential merger is in the range of 5 to 6 billion dollars

A look at the background to proposed AltaGas export terminal for Prince Rupert can be found on our archive page here.

More background on the percolating plans for a potential merger can be reviewed below:

Washington Gas in merger talks with big Canadian utility
AltaGas confirms talks after report of potential merger with WGL Holdings
U.S. deal rumoured as AltaGas concedes merger talks
AltaGas in potential deal talks with WGL Holdings: report
Canada's AltaGas says in potential deal talks

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