Feds find New York buyers for Ridley Terminals

Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla will own 10% share of the terminal under offer

The federal government expects to net $100 million on the $350 million sale. | Ridley Terminals

The Canadian government has found a buyer for Ridley Teminals in Prince Rupert.

But the government only expects to net a profit of about $100 million on the $350 million sale of the federally owned Prince Rupert coal export terminal.

The Crown corporation responsible for Crown assets, Canadian Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), announced the offer Friday in a news release.

But if there are details of the proposed sale on CDEV’s website, it is no longer available to the public. The CDEV website, which was open to the public just days ago, is now password protected. The CDEV website contains financial reports that should be available to the public – access to which is now restricted.

A press release from CDEV says it has reached an agreement with two New York based private equity firms: Riverstone Holdings and AMCI Group.

The deal would give the companies a 90% stake in the terminal for $350 million. The remaining 10% will be transferred to two First Nations in the area: the Lax Kw'alaams Band and Metlakatla.

The federal government expects to see only a $100 million profit on the sale

Since 2012, the federal government has invested roughly $100 million in road, rail and other infrastructure improvements at the terminal.

Last year, Nathan Cullen, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, said the government has invested roughly $250 million in the terminal. Now that the terminal is actually making a profit, Cullen questioned the federal government’s decision to sell it.

“It’s frustrating that taxpayers poured a quarter-billion dollars into Ridley to keep this asset afloat in the lean times, but now that Ridley is generating healthy profits and a berth expansion is in the works, the Liberals arbitrarily seize on this as a time to sell,” Cullen said.

Riverstone Holdings is a private equity firm based in New York. ACMI is an investment firm specializing in the natural resources sector, also based in New York.

The proposed sale of the terminal must still be approved by the Competition Bureau.

The federal government has been trying to sell Ridley Terminals since 2012. The terminal was originally strictly a coal export terminal, but in recent years additional export facilities have been built there, including a new $500 million propane export terminal. Ray-Mont Logistics has also opened a new pulse and cereal crop loading facility.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv