Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) has sold its 31.6% stake in a US company that owns the largest electric and natural gas utility in the State of Washington to fellow Canadian investor Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Macquarie Asset Management.

Ontario Teachers’ and Macquarie have announced the joint acquisition of the stake in Puget Holdings for an undisclosed amount.

Puget’s primary operating subsidiary, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), is the oldest electric and natural gas utility in the State of Washington, serving 1.2m electricity customers and 900,000 natural gas customers.

CPP Investments was part of a consortium that took Puget private in 2009. In 2018, pension funds OMERS and PGGM acquired stakes in Puget after Macquarie exited its investment in the US energy company.

The deal led to Canada’s OMERS and the Netherlands’ PGGM owning 23.9% and 10%, respectively.

Other existing institutional shareholders British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, which had held interests in the company since 2009, increased their ownership to 20.9% and 13.6%, respectively as CPP Investments maintained its 31.6% position.

The latest deal gives Macquarie and Ontario Teachers’ a 15.8% stake each in Puget.

David Fass, the head of Macquarie Asset Management in the Americas, said: “We are excited to be reinvesting in Puget, a high-quality company with core infrastructure assets.

“Washington State is at the forefront of clean energy policy in the US, and this transaction underscores our commitment to seeking relevant investment opportunities in the green energy transition.”

Kevin Kerr, MD and head of Americas for infrastructure and natural resources at Ontario Teachers’, said: “We are pleased to close this transaction and become shareholders in Puget, expanding our global portfolio of high-quality core infrastructure assets.

“We believe PSE will play a key role in decarbonising Washington State’s power generation in the coming years, which is consistent with our own efforts to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” 

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