Calgary-based Canadian Power Holdings Inc. has acquired Okanagan Wind, which operates two wind farms in southern British Columbia, for more than $100-million, according to a source familiar with the transaction.
Okanagan Wind’s facilities have a combined generating capacity of 30 megawatts, and all the electricity it generates is sold to BC Hydro in an agreement that has 37 years remaining.
According to the source, the value of this transaction is between $3-million and $5-million per megawatt of generating capacity, putting the value for 30-megawatt wind farms in the range of $90-million to $150-million. The source confirmed it was at least $100-million. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the source because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the deal.
Canadian Power chief executive Derek Goodmanson would not comment on the exact price paid, but confirmed the deal and said “it’s very much in the expected range” for wind assets.
“The one thing that does enhance the value of this one is the long term,” he said. “A lot of wind contracts tend to be in the 20- to 30-year range. This one’s a little longer, so that helps.”
Mr. Goodmanson said he hopes to close the deal in the middle of the second quarter. Canadian Power has “a big focus on long-term contracted assets with strong counterparties, and it doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.
The acquisition is Canadian Power’s first foray into renewable energy. The power investor and operator will purchase all of Okanagan Wind’s equity, and take on some debt from InstarAGF Asset Management, an infrastructure operator that sponsored the Okanagan wind power facilities, which were founded in 2017.
Canadian Power owns a natural gas power plant in Saskatchewan and has a stake in four natural gas power plants across Canada. The five plants have a total electricity generating capacity of 1,274 megawatts.
It is wholly owned by CK Group, a multinational conglomerate that has significant holdings in ports, infrastructure and telecommunications. CK Group is led by chairman Victor Li, the eldest son of Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-Shing.
“Victor Li is obviously interested in this asset as he’s a Canadian, but he’s also certainly encouraged all of the member companies to go this way,” Mr. Goodmanson said. He added that Canadian Power is interested in acquiring more business in the renewable-energy sector.
“Wind and solar have been more at the forefront at the moment. But of course, the hydrogen discussion is ramping up in Canada. … We’re keen to plug into that as well,” he said.
CK Group has a portfolio of renewable-energy investments that span Europe, Australia, Britain and China.
Mr. Goodmanson said Canadian Power will partner with the three First Nations communities that have traditional lands where the wind farms are, and will aim to provide them with work opportunities.
CIBC Capital Markets provided financial advice to Canadian Power for the transaction. Stikeman Elliott LLP is its legal adviser.
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