EDMONTON, AB – Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge or the Company) (TSX: ENB) (NYSE: ENB) and 23 First Nation and Métis communities today announced an agreement whereby the communities will acquire, collectively, an 11.57% non-operating interest in seven Enbridge-operated pipelines in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta for $1.12 billion.
A newly created entity, Athabasca Indigenous Investments (Aii), will steward this investment, which represents the largest energy-related Indigenous economic partnership transaction in North America to date.
“We are very pleased to be joining our Indigenous partners in this landmark collaboration,” said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge. “We believe this partnership exemplifies how Enbridge and Indigenous communities can work together, not only in stewarding the environment, but also in owning and operating critical energy infrastructure. We are looking forward to working with the Aii and deepening our relationship well into the future. This also fully aligns with our priority to recycle capital at attractive valuations, which can be used to fund numerous growth opportunities within our conventional and low carbon platforms.”
This investment by Aii also fits well with commitments Enbridge made in its recently released Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (IRAP), building on a growing track record of engagement with Indigenous communities and employees. The IRAP incorporates advice into facility siting, environmental and cultural monitoring, employment, training and procurement opportunities and, most recently, financial partnerships such as the proposed Wabamun Carbon Hub.
Pipelines included in the transaction are the Athabasca, Wood Buffalo/Athabasca Twin and associated tanks; Norlite Diluent; Waupisoo; Wood Buffalo; Woodland; and the Woodland extension. These assets are underpinned by long-life resources and long-term contracts, which provide highly predictable cash flows.
“On behalf of the Indigenous partners, we are proud to become equity owners in these high-quality assets which contribute to North American energy supply and security,” said Justin Bourque, President of Athabasca Indigenous Investments. “Our partner logo theme – Seven Pipelines, Seven Generations – speaks to the long-term value potential of these assets, which will help enhance quality of life in our communities for many years to come.”
“This is a truly historic day for our communities in the Athabasca region,” added Chief Greg Desjarlais of Frog Lake First Nation. “In addition to an opportunity to generate wealth for our people, this investment supports economic sovereignty for our communities. We look forward to working with a leading energy company like Enbridge, which shares Indigenous values of water, land and environmental stewardship.”
“To be involved in an Indigenous partnership that will bring ongoing benefits to our communities is very important to the Métis people of Alberta,” says Stan Delorme, Chairperson, Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement. “Today’s announcement marks a next step in our relationship with Enbridge and our neighbors in the Athabasca region.”
Closing of the transaction is expected to occur within the next month. BMO Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to Enbridge and Torys LLP as legal counsel. RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to Athabasca Indigenous Investments and Boughton Law as legal counsel.
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