Qatari and Chinese investors are buying majority stake in UK’s gas pipe network, National Grid announced.
National Grid, the UK’s power network operator has confirmed that they are selling a majority stake in the country’s gas pipe network to a partnership of investors, including Qatar and China.
The power network operator said that they will be offload 61 percent of shares, to a consortium led by Australian investment bank, Macquarie, in a deal that is valued at 13.8 billion pounds (around 17.4 billion US dollars).
The power network controls main parts of the UK’s infrastructure that provides over 11 million homes with gas, through a stretch of 82,000 miles of pipeline. Its sale will definitely ignite internal concerns over the ownership of the crucial national asset by foreign investors.
However, National Grid will be keeping a 31 percent stake in the business, but could potentially sell another 14 percent to the consortium under the terms of the sale.
The company said that will voluntarily distribute 150 million British pounds to benefit their customers, while around 4 billion pounds from the proceeds will go to the company’s shareholders.
Earlier in August, when the British Prime Minister agreed to the French and Chinese-funded Hinkley Point nuclear reactor, Theresa May said that such deals will face stricter regulations.
But the sale is aimed to help National Grid’s growth into more areas and raise the share value. The purchase is set to be completed before March 2017.