A message from John Pettigrew, CEO
Today, Friday 31 March, marks a significant milestone for National Grid. I’m pleased to announce we have completed the sale of a 61% interest in National Grid Gas Distribution (NGGD) to a Consortium of long-term infrastructure investors.
As you might recall, the Consortium comprises of Macquarie, Allianz, Hermes, CIC, Qatar, Dalmore and Amber Infrastructure.
We intend to return £4billion of net proceeds to shareholders – approximately £3billion through a special dividend and the remainder by way of a share buyback.
We have also entered into an agreement with the Consortium with an option to sell a further 14% prior to October 2019.
This was a complex transaction, which was delivered under tight timescales, and I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the separation and sale process. This involved many teams from across our business who have worked tirelessly to stand up a new business, separate complex IT systems and navigate thousands of pages of legal documents.
The transition since October, when we completed the first stage of the separation, has been smooth and the Gas Distribution business will now operate with a new ownership and Board structure. It will continue to trade under the legal name National Grid Gas Distribution Ltd until the change of company name and launch of its new brand identity at the start of May.
Although the sale is complete, National Grid will still be a shareholder in the business as we retain a significant financial stake and an interest in its future success. As we are a minority shareholder in NGGD, we won’t have control over the business but will have four seats on the Board, which will include Nicola Shaw, Chris Bennett, Chris Waters and Andy Agg.
We’ve put £150m from the sale to one side for the benefit of energy consumers. We take very seriously the role we play in people’s daily lives and believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our wider stakeholders also benefit from the sale. We have been working with Ofgem to ensure that the money is used in a way that provides the maximum possible benefit, and will reveal more details about how this will be done in due course.
So, let me finish by saying that I really appreciate your hard work and dedication to deliver this deal and a big thank you to everyone involved.
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