John Laing Group plc Update on 2018 investment commitments and realisations
John Laing Group plc (John Laing), the international originator, active investor and manager of infrastructure projects, issues an update on investment commitments and realisations.
2018 investment activity
In our pre-close update on 13 December 2018, we reported that investment commitments were £267 million, slightly ahead of our guidance for the year ending 31 December 2018 of approximately £250 million, and that a further £20 - £30 million investment was possible before the year end.
In late 2018, two further investment commitments were entered into, totalling £35 million:
- Cherry Tree Wind Farm (Australia): £19 million
- Buckleberry Solar Farm (US): £16 million
Total investment commitments in 2018 were therefore £302 million.
In our pre-close update, we also said that we expected the agreed sale of our 37.43% shareholding in Manchester Waste TPS Co for £54.5 million to complete in Q1 2019 following customary EU anti-trust clearance. This clearance took less time than anticipated and the transaction completed in late December 2018.
Total realisations completed for 2018 were therefore £296 million and we expect the 2018 special dividend to be based on this total. The Group’s dividend policy includes a special dividend of approximately 5-10% of gross proceeds from the sale of investments, subject to specific investment requirements in any one year. While the proposed special dividend for 2018 has not yet been determined, the revised 2018 level of realisation proceeds is not expected to result in a materially different level of special dividend from what was indicated in the pre-close update.
In the pre-close update, we also referred to other realisation processes being underway, but not expected to reach completion before year end. In late December 2018, we agreed the sales of both our 95.3% shareholding in the Rocksprings wind farm in Texas and our 92.5% shareholding in the Sterling wind farm in New Mexico to the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).
The combined agreed consideration was in excess of US$100 million, in line with the expected portfolio valuation for the two investments at 31 December 2018, and is subject to potential adjustment. The sale is also subject to governmental and financing partner consents and is expected to complete in the first half of 2019.
Further realisation processes remain underway. We expect to provide guidance on both 2019 investment commitments and realisations when we announce our results for the year ended 31 December 2018 on 5 March 2019.
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