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Macquarie funds to sell ownership interests in Puget Sound Energy

Funds controlled by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners Inc. are selling their ownership interest in Washington state utility Puget Sound Energy Inc.

Puget Sound Energy on Aug. 8 said it would file with Washington state regulators for approval of the transaction, under which the Macquarie funds' 44% noncontrolling interest in the utility would be disbursed to four parties, in September.

Two existing owners will increase their holdings. Alberta Investment Management Corp. will increase its ownership interest to 13.6% and British Columbia Investment Management Corp. will boost its holdings to 20.9%.

OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc., which invests on behalf of the pension fund for the province of Ontario's municipal employees, is acquiring a 23.9% interest in Puget Sound Energy, and Dutch pension fund PGGM Coöperatie U.A. is acquiring 10%.

OMERS has a number of U.S. energy assets. It secured approval in May for the acquisition of a 1,700-MW portfolio of wind energy facilities in nine states. Earlier in August, PGGM, through its PGGM Infrastructure Fund, announced the acquisition of a 50% interest in an Iowa wind farm and California solar facility.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will retain its 31.6% interest, becoming Puget Sound Energy's largest single stakeholder.

Controlled by an entity called Puget Holdings LLC, Puget Sound Energy said in a news release that the Macquarie funds are nearing the end of their terms. The funds acquired Puget Sound Energy in 2009, taking the company private. Puget Sound Energy serves about 1.1 million electric and 790,000 natural gas customers in western Washington state.