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Teekay LNG Partners launches $100M unit buyback, changes tax structure

Teekay LNG Partners LP launched a common unit repurchase program of up to $100 million common units and implemented changes to its tax structure, a move that could attract larger institutional investors.

Teekay GP LLC, the general partner of Teekay LNG Partners, received approval from its board to buy back the partnership's common units in the open market or privately-negotiated transactions, according to a Dec. 19 news release. The timing of the transactions and the number of common units to be bought are subject to market conditions and other factors.

"We believe that Teekay LNG's common units represent compelling value and repurchasing them is currently the best investment we can make as the unit price does not fully reflect the underlying value of our business, our large and diversified contract portfolio totaling $10.6 billion of forward revenues, and the strong LNG carrier market fundamentals, which is resulting in higher cash flows for the partnership," said Mark Kremin, president and CEO of Teekay Gas Group Ltd.

In addition, Teekay LNG obtained approval from its unit holders to be treated as a corporation, rather than a partnership, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The new tax structure will take effect January 1, 2019.

Teekay LNG will continue to be a master limited partnership, and all other provisions of the limited partnership agreement that the company has signed remain effective, according to the release.

The Hamilton, Bermuda-based Teekay LNG Partners provides marine transportation services for LNG and liquefied petroleum gas, and was formed by Teekay Corp. as part of its strategy to expand operations in the LNG and LPG marine transportation sectors.