First Nations in Ontario now own 14 million commons shares of Hydro One Limited .
TORONTO- Ontario quietly announced, over the holidays, that it had completed the sale of 14,391,012 common shares to 129 First Nations that control OFN Power Holdings.
The shares–represent 2.4 per cent of the outstanding common shares. They were sold for $18 each for a total price of just under $260 million.
The $260 million is being financed through a 25-year term loan from the province. The hydro shares are being held security for the loan.
The signing of 129 of Ontario’s 133 First Nations has triggered an additional $29 million in seed capital for a new investment fund wholly-owned by Ontario First Nations Sovereign Wealth LP.
The announcement stated the transaction fulfills the government’s commitment in an agreement-in-principle with First Nations which was announced in July 2016.
It said it “demonstrates the good will envisioned by the political accord to promote stronger economic relations and is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
The statement added that having a stake in Hydro One will provide meaningful opportunities to First Nations for collective wealth creation and to advance economic development. OFN Power Holdings LP, a limited partnership wholly-owned by Ontario First Nations Sovereign Wealth LP, which is in turn owned by 129 First Nations in Ontario.
The Province and First Nations communities began engaging in discussions regarding potential equity ownership as part of the initial stages of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2015. On July 12, 2016, the Province and First Nations in Ontario, as represented by the Chiefs-in-Assembly, announced an agreement-in-principle for the Province to sell shares of Hydro One Limited to First Nations for their collective benefit.
The transaction announced on January 2, 2018, fulfills the Province’s commitment in its agreement-in-principle with the Chiefs-in-Assembly on behalf of the First Nations in Ontario.