Power Assets declares HK$5 a share special dividend

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 12:36am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 12:36am

Power Assets, an international energy generation and distribution firm controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, has declared a HK$5 a share special dividend.

The “one-off” payout, which will be in addition to the final dividend yet to be declared for the 2016 financial year, will be paid in cash on February 28, the company said in a filing to Hong Kong’s stock exchange on Thursday, on which a board meeting approved the payout.

It will be paid to shareholders whose names appear in the company’s shareholders register at the close of business on February 15, it added.

The special dividend was first announced early last week, when the company said it planned to form a joint venture with Cheung Kong Property Holdings and Cheung Kong Infrastructure - both also controlled by Li - to fully take over Australian energy distributor Duet Group for up to A$7.53 billion (HK$43.8 billion).

Power Assets, which has energy projects in Hong Kong, mainland China, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, may buy 20 per cent of Duet for HK$8.6 billion.

With cash and bank deposits totalling HK$66 billion at the end of June, analysts expect the company to remain cash rich after the special payout and the acquisition.

“We estimate that Power Assets will still hold HK$32 billion of net cash after the Duet deal and the special dividend ... which will allow it to pursue meaningful merger and acquisition opportunities,”

Evan Li, HSBC’s head of Asia-Pacific utility and alternative energy research wrote in a note.

Power Assets’ special dividend could help Cheung Kong Infrastructure, which owns 38.9 per cent of Power Assets, to finance its share of the Duet acquisition, analysts said.