CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Nov. 29, 2017) – Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge or the Company) (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB) today announced the finalization of its strategic plan and outlook (the Plan) following the merger with Spectra Energy, which closed on February 27, 2017. The Plan includes a three-year financial outlook covering 2018 – 2020. The following summarizes the key elements of the Plan, which will be further discussed at the Company’s investor conferences on December 12th and 13th, in New York and Toronto, respectively.
- Strong business outlook through the three-year planning horizon; resulting in a three-year compound annual ACFFO/share and dividend growth of 10% through 2020; dividend increase of 10% for 2018
- Plan based on a remaining capital program of $22 billion through 2020
- Rationalizing the asset mix to a pure regulated pipeline and utility business model emphasizing low risk and strong growth in three core businesses: Liquids Pipelines and Terminals, Gas Transmission and Storage and Gas Utilities
- Identified $10 billion of non-core assets and intend to sell or monetize a minimum of $3 billion in 2018
- Accelerating deleveraging to further strengthen the balance sheet; Debt to EBITDA of 5.0x expected by the end of 2018
- Enbridge today announced a $1.5 billion privately placed common equity issuance and intends to issue an additional $4 billion of hybrid securities through the end of 2018
- Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. today announced a $0.5 billion public common equity issuance
- Enbridge’s target credit metrics through the Plan horizon can be satisfied with additional asset sales, sponsored vehicle equity and the dividend reinvestment program; no additional follow-on common equity required for the Plan
- Strong three-year outlooks provided for Enbridge Income Fund, Enbridge Energy Partners and Spectra Energy Partners (SEP)
- To enhance Spectra Energy Partners’ cost of capital, Enbridge has provided SEP a formal proposal to exchange its incentive distribution rights and General Partner economic interests for newly issued limited partner units of SEP
Enbridge is now the largest energy infrastructure company in North America with consolidated assets totaling over C$160 billion as at September 30, 2017, covering the most important and growing energy demand markets and supply basins. Enbridge’s key strategic priorities are as follows:
- Focus on the safety and operational reliability of our systems and ensure cost effective and efficient transportation for our customers;
- Ensure strong execution of our secured capital program that will drive ACFFO growth through 2020;
- Concentrate on growth of core businesses through extensions and expansions of our premium liquids pipeline, natural gas transmission and gas utility franchises;
- Further strengthen our financial position and optimize our cost of capital through diversified access to capital markets;
- Position Enbridge for long term growth beyond 2020 through disciplined capital allocation.
Commenting on the strategic plan and outlook, Al Monaco, President and CEO of Enbridge noted; “2017 has been an important transition year for Enbridge. The acquisition of Spectra Energy has significantly diversified our asset base and opportunity set, and repositioned Enbridge for the future, particularly with respect to natural gas which we see as having excellent fundamentals and opportunities going forward. Integration is going well and synergy capture is on target. We have continued to successfully execute on our secured capital program, with roughly $12 billion of new projects expected to be put into service in 2017.”
Mr. Monaco continued, “With the Spectra Energy assets now in the fold, we will focus our attention on what we do best and the value proposition that has served shareholders well over the years. We will rationalize our asset mix to a pure regulated pipeline and utility business model, which emphasizes low risk businesses and strong growth in our three crown jewel businesses: liquids pipelines and terminals, natural gas transmission and storage and natural gas utilities. These franchises represent critical energy infrastructure with un-paralleled competitive positions, highly predictable cash flows and embedded growth. Through this review, we’ve identified a total of $10 billion of assets that are non-core to Enbridge. In 2018, at least $3 billion of certain unregulated gas midstream and onshore renewables businesses will be sold or monetized.”
Balance Sheet Strengthening Actions
The Company’s financing plan has been designed to fund its industry leading secured growth program while deleveraging the balance sheet. The plan achieves strong, investment grade credit metrics throughout the three-year period, with its Debt to EBITDA metric expected to reach 5x by the end of 2018, and trending to approximately 4.5x by 2020.
Total spending on secured growth and maintenance capital is expected to be approximately $22 billion through the end of 2020. This capital funding requirement, together with targeted debt reduction of approximately $4 billion, will be satisfied with the following sources:
- $14B – Internally generated cash flow, net of dividends/distributions
- $1.5B – Enbridge Inc. common equity (announced today)
- $0.5B – Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. common equity (announced today)
- $4.0B – Hybrid securities (planned through the end of 2018)
- $3.0B – Non-core asset sales (planned through the end of 2018)
A combination of DRIP and sponsored vehicle equity will satisfy the remaining requirement. As such, no further follow-on Enbridge Inc. common equity is required to support the current financing plan. In addition, the Company can create significant further financing flexibility through incremental non-core asset sales or monetizations, issuance of hybrid securities and sponsored vehicle financing actions.
Mr. Monaco commented, “With on-going execution of our secured capital investment program, it’s important that we maintain a strong financial position and financing flexibility, which this plan achieves. Over the last two years, excluding the common equity issued today, we’ve raised approximately $7.5 billion in equity or equity equivalent funding, financed the Spectra acquisition with 100% equity and sold or monetized $2.6 billion in non-core assets, which demonstrates our commitment to pro-active management of the balance sheet during this period of growth. The asset sales and further actions we’re announcing today, along with our three-year financing plan, will provide the capital required to fund our secured growth program and provide the financial flexibility going forward to support the execution of our strategy.”
2018 Guidance and Three-Year Financial Outlook
Enbridge expects 2018 ACFFO/share from its existing operation and secured-only capital program in the range of $4.15 to $4.45/share, inclusive of the dilutive effect of the $1.5 billion common equity issuance announced today and the other planned funding and asset sale actions noted above. The secured-only financial outlook implies a three-year compound annual growth rate in ACFFO/share of approximately 10% off of the midpoint 2017 guidance range of $3.60 – $3.90/share, ending with a midpoint of approximately $5/share of ACFFO in 2020.
Dividend Increase and Dividend Growth Outlook
The Board of Directors approved an increase in the annual Dividend of 10% for 2018. The new quarterly dividend of $0.671/share will be payable on March 1, 2018, to shareholders of record on February 15, 2018. Enbridge expects to continue to deliver annual dividend growth of 10% through 2020, which is expected to result in a dividend payout through the planning horizon of below 65% of ACFFO/share.
Commenting on the dividend increase, Mr. Monaco noted: “Over the decades, Enbridge has delivered superior shareholder value. Our low risk business model has resulted in strong and consistent growth in the dividend which we are continuing to deliver though this Plan period.”
Three-year financial plans for the sponsored vehicles were also approved by Enbridge, as well as the Boards of Directors of Spectra Energy Partners, Enbridge Energy Partners and Enbridge Income Fund. Each of the Sponsored vehicles is expected to maintain solid distribution growth, strong distribution coverage, and solid investment grade credit ratings:
- Enbridge Income Fund Holdings (ENF:TSX) announced today that it will increase its monthly dividend by 10% effective with the dividend payable on February 15, 2018. In addition, the robust long term outlook for distribution growth at Enbridge Income Fund (the Fund) will now support extension of annual dividend increases of 10% to ENF shareholders through 2020. ENF also announced a $0.5 billion common equity bought deal issuance, which along with a $0.1 billion common equity issuance to Enbridge to maintain Enbridge’s 19.9% common equity interest in ENF, will be used to increase its ownership in the Fund. The Fund is expected to realize strong EBITDA growth over the planning horizon while maintaining distribution coverage of 1.2x to 1.3x. The Fund Group credit metrics are expected to strengthen over the forecast horizon as a result of growing EBITDA from strong business performance and its secured capital program, and bolstered by the common equity investment by ENF which satisfies the Fund Group’s equity requirements through 2020. Debt to EBITDA levels are forecast to be below 5.0x by the end of 2018 and remain below this level for the remainder of the outlook period.
- Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (EEP) (NYSE:EEP) is now comprised of highly predictable, stable cash generating assets, including the U.S. portion of the Enbridge’s crude oil mainline system. EEP is expected to generate distributable cash flow per unit growth of approximately 3% through 2020. Management expects distribution growth to approximately follow distributable cash flow growth. Distribution coverage of approximately 1.2x is targeted throughout the planning period. The Partnership expects consolidated Debt to EBITDA to be approximately 4.0x by 2020, once its liquids pipeline growth projects are placed into service and its call options in joint funding arrangements have been exercised.
- Spectra Energy Partners L.P. (SEP) (NYSE:SEP) is expected to deliver on its targeted $0.0125/unit quarterly distribution increase through 2018, which equates to ~7% distribution growth next year, with distribution coverage of 1.1x-1.2x. After 2018, the execution of the current secured organic growth plan alone supports distribution growth of 4% – 6% annually in 2019 and 2020, while maintaining distribution coverage of 1.1x to 1.2x. This outlook could be further enhanced with additional organic growth and future drop down transactions. The Debt to EBITDA metric is expected to remain below 4.0x through 2020.
In addition, today Enbridge made a formal offer to Spectra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE:SEP) (SEP) to convert all of Enbridge’s incentive distribution rights (IDRs) and general partner (GP) economic interests in SEP into a fixed number of additional common units in SEP and a non-economic GP interest in SEP. Through this proposal, Enbridge seeks to highlight the value of its IDRs and GP economic interest in SEP, and reduce SEP’s cost of capital to support the sustainable long-term growth of the partnership. Enbridge would continue to act as SEP’s general partner. Enbridge expects the proposed transaction to be appropriately reviewed by SEP’s Board of Directors, including by a conflicts committee comprised of independent members of the SEP board. No assurance can be given that Enbridge and SEP will reach agreement on the proposed transaction.