Cheung Kong

Li-controlled companies buy Canadian parking firm for HK$2.48b

The C$347.6m purchase, split between Cheung Kong and CKI, highlights shift in focus abroad

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 May, 2014, 3:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 4:39am

Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) have agreed to pay C$347.56 million (HK$2.48 billion) for a parking business in Canada that operates in the country's biggest cities.

Both companies are controlled by Li Ka-shing. The firm, Park'N Fly, provides parking near airports in Canadian cities including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

It will be acquired by a joint venture in which Cheung Kong and CKI each owns 50 per cent, according to a statement from Hutchison Whampoa, which is controlled by Cheung Kong and is in turn the parent company of CKI.

Separately, European Union antitrust regulators have cleared Hutchison's US$1 billion bid for Telefonica's Irish unit after the Hong Kong-based group agreed on measures to aid smaller competitors in Ireland. Hutchison is looking to strengthen its position in Europe.

The latest acquisitions by the Cheung Kong group of companies rebalance its holdings in Hong Kong and on the mainland in favour of international assets.

Park'N Fly had an unaudited net asset value of about C$88 million at the end of last year. For the financial year to December 31, unaudited net profit before tax and extraordinary items was about C$16.4 million.

The company offers three tiers of off-airport car park services - economy, self-park and valet - to business and leisure travellers. Kam Hing-lam, group managing director of CKI, said the acquisition fit well into the firm's transport infrastructure portfolio. The sellers are private companies incorporated under Canadian laws, including BRL Realty, RNE Realty and Park'N Fly Partnership.

Cheung Kong's and CKI's experience of working together on joint venture projects makes each a suitable partner for the parking business, the Hutchison statement said.

In January, Hongkong Electric Investments - part of his Li's energy flagship Power Assets - raked in HK$52 billion in an initial public offering.