US - Puget Holdings LLC, a group of long-term infrastructure investors which includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), expects to buyout Puget Energy and its wholly-owned subsidiary Puget Sound Energy (PSE) by early February.

Puget Holdings expects to pay $7.4bn (€5.69bn) for the purchases and close the deals by 6 February 2009, and will help the firm's future capital commitments to infrastructure projects and energy supplies, claimed Stephen Reynolds, chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) for Puget Energy and PSE.

"With Puget Holdings' strong, patient investors, we will have the resources to build the infrastructure and secure the clean energy supplies needed to serve the growing region."

Puget Holdings, made up by the CPPIB, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, the British Colombia Investment Management Corporation and Alberta Investment Management Corporation among others, has committed to support a $5bn capital programme over the next five years to maintain and improve the electric and gas systems in the region and a further $100m in rate credits and other savings.

Upon closing, Puget Holdings will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Puget Energy for $30 per share. To ensure shareholders receive dividends at the current rate, Puget Energy plans to pay a special pro rata dividend to shareholders based on the number of days from the last regular dividend record date (21 January 2009) until the closing of the merger.

PSE will continue to be based in its headquarters in Washington and will maintain its current management staff and employees. The merger agreement guarantees that three of the current PSE board members will continue on the board once the purchase is complete to offer local expertise.

PSE is Washington's largest energy utility, with a 6000 sq mile service area spread across 11 countries, and serves over one million electrical consumers and around 750,000 gas customers.

The CPPIB is managed independently and invests the assets of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to help support the future pensions of 17m Canadians. The CPP Fund currently has a total of C$117.4bn (€71.6bn) assets and had allocated 6.2% of its assets to real estate by 30 September 2008.

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