HONG KONG: Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, controlled by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, said it will buy Dutch waste processing firm RAV Water Treatment I B.V. for 943.68 million euros (US$1.26bil), in an overseas expansion drive that has targeted infrastructure assets offering steady recurring income.
Li's business empire, which spans property, telecoms, and ports and retailing, has been seeking stable investment opportunities in well-regulated markets outside of Hong Kong, where its opportunities for expansion are becoming limited.
Other partners in the acquiring consortium include Hutchison Whampao Ltd's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd, Power Assets Holdings Ltd and Li Ka Shing Foundation Ltd.
They are buying AVRAfvalverwerking B.V., owner of RAV Water Treatment I B.V., which processes waste and supplies renewable energy from waste incineration in the Netherlands.
Cheung Kong Infrastructure, Hong Kong's No. 2 property developer, and its investment arms have spent US$14.2bil, including debt, buying assets globally over the past decade, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Last year, companies controlled by octogenarian billionaire Li agreed to buy British gas company Wales and West Utilities for US$1bil. In 2010, Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Power Asset Holdings agreed to buy the British electricity distribution networks of France's EDF SA for £5.8bil (US$9.1bil).
The Dutch acquisition marks the group's second deal in waste management, after Australian private equity firm Ironbridge sold its New Zealand waste company, EnviroWaste Services Ltd, to Cheung Kong Infrastructure for NZ$501mil (US$405mil), including NZ$11mil in debt, in January.
Cheung Kong Holdings and Cheung Kong Infrastructure will each hold 35% in the joint venture acquiring the Dutch company. Power Assets will hold 20% and Li Ka Shing Foundation will own 10%. The investment will be financed with internal resources. - Reuters