Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund Announces Increase in Distributions to Unitholders, Sale of U.S. Wind Loan
TORONTO, Ontario (December 10, 2007) –
- Third distribution increase since MPT’s inception
- Sale of non-core investment at an attractive premium
- Diversified portfolio continuing to perform strongly
- Anticipated payout ratio provides for stability of distributions
Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund
(TSX: MPT.UN; MPT.DB – “MPT” or the “Fund”) today announced that its Board of Trustees
has approved an increase in monthly distributions to unitholders from $0.08583 per trust unit to
$0.08750 per trust unit, an increase of $0.02 per year resulting in an annual aggregate
distribution of $1.05 per trust unit.
“This increase in distributions reflects the Fund’s continuing strong performance and solid
financial foundation as well as the high quality and stable profile of our assets,” said Gregory
Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. “Since the Fund’s inception in 2004,
distributions to unitholders have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 2.8%, which
represents steady, attractive growth in value for our unitholders.”
This monthly distribution increase will take effect for the month of January 2008 and will be
payable on or about February 15, 2008 to unitholders of record as at January 31, 2008. The
increase also applies to the Class B Exchangeable Units of MPT LTC Holding LP, an indirect
wholly-owned subsidiary entity of the Fund.
In addition, the Fund announced that on December 7, 2007, Caithness Western Wind Holdings
LLC prepaid the subordinated debt (the “U.S. Wind Loan”) held by the Fund for US$22.0
million plus accrued interest. The U.S. Wind Loan, which was scheduled to mature on
September 30, 2024, was supported by cash flow generated from six wind power facilities
located in the United States. The sale, which eliminates the Fund’s exposure to foreign
currency risk, represents a 23% premium to the US$17.85 million principal amount outstanding
under the U.S. Wind Loan as at September 30, 2007.
Continuing Strong Performance
As previously disclosed, the Fund expects its assets to continue to perform strongly in the
fourth quarter of 2007 and through 2008.
The Fund’s power assets are characterized by high availability, which reflects the quality of
plant operations and underlines the reliability of the Fund’s cash flow. The Cardinal facility’s
five-year average availability, excluding the major maintenance year in 2006, is 98.0%. Fiveyear
average availability at the Whitecourt biomass facility and at the hydro facilities is 95.5%
and 98.0%, respectively. Availability refers to the number of hours that a generating unit is
capable of providing service.
For the balance of 2007, Cardinal is expected to experience increased cash flow as a result of
higher electricity rates offset somewhat by higher transportation costs. From October to
March, Cardinal’s Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) contains higher power rates. Moreover,
the facility produces more electricity in the winter when the gas turbine attains its peak output
as a result of lower ambient temperatures. For 2008, continuing increases in gas
transportation costs are expected to more than offset the increase in the Direct Customer Rate
(“DCR”), resulting in slightly lower cash flow for the year.
Erie Shores Wind Farm (“Erie Shores”), which commenced operations in May 2006, is
performing in line with expectations. Improved results are anticipated for the fourth quarter of
2007 as wind speed and density typically increase during the autumn and winter months. The
Fund expects Erie Shores to deliver annual production of approximately 245,600 MWh.
The Fund’s hydro power facilities are performing as expected. Water flows are typically
greater during the autumn and spring months. In addition, Wawatay’s and Dryden’s PPAs
contain higher rates for electricity during the months of October to March. The Fund expects
the hydro facilities to achieve annual long-term average production of 166,360 MWh. The
hydro assets are located in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific watersheds, which mitigates the
impact of fluctuating water flows on revenue.
The Whitecourt biomass facility is supported by a long-term fuel supply agreement that
contributes to continuing reliable operations as well as a low cost structure. Whitecourt
operates on a seven-year maintenance cycle and is scheduled to undergo major maintenance
in May 2008, which is expected to require an approximately 24-day outage. Major
maintenance costs at the Fund’s assets are fully funded through the Fund’s major
maintenance reserve and have no impact on distributable cash.
A key focus for Leisureworld is on completing the acquisition of seven Class C long-term care
homes, which is subject to approval by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Leisureworld is expected to maintain its current distribution profile through 2008 as it continues
to maximize the performance of each home in its portfolio and to benefit from increased
Guidance for Payout Ratio, Return of Capital
As previously disclosed, for fiscal 2007 the Fund expects to achieve a payout ratio of
approximately 95%, which excludes the impact, if any, of the sale of the U.S. wind loan on the
Fund’s distributable cash. Approximately 70% of the distributions paid to unitholders in 2007
are expected to be non-taxable as a return of capital.
For fiscal 2008, the Fund expects to achieve a payout ratio of approximately 95% to 100%,
which provides for the continuing stability of distributions. Approximately 60% of the
distributions paid to unitholders in 2008 are expected to be non-taxable as return of capital.
Unitholders should be advised that the Fund expects to provide its fiscal 2007 tax information
to The Canadian Depository for Securities Limited (“CDS”) no later than the end of February
2008. This information will also be made available on the Fund’s website at
About Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund
Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund invests in essential infrastructure assets in
North America with an emphasis on power infrastructure. MPT’s strategy is to acquire and
actively manage a high quality portfolio of diverse infrastructure assets to improve their
financial performance and provide growing and sustainable distributions to unitholders.
MPT’s portfolio includes investments in gas cogeneration, wind, hydro and biomass power
generating facilities, representing approximately 350 MW of installed capacity, and a 45%
indirect interest in Leisureworld Senior Care LP, a leading provider of long-term care, or social
infrastructure, in Ontario. MPT is managed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Macquarie Group
Limited. Please visit www.macquarie.com/mpt for additional information.
Certain statements in this news release may constitute forward-looking statements, which involve known and unknown
risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements use such words as “may”,
“will”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “plan” and other similar terminology. These statements reflect current
expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this news release.
Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future
performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved.
A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking
statements, including, but not limited to: risks associated with the Fund’s gas cogeneration, wind, hydro and biomass
power generating assets and the power industry generally; risks associated with MPT’s interest in Leisureworld and
the long-term care sector; risks associated with the structure of MPT; and risks associated with business, regulatory
and economic conditions. The risks and uncertainties described above are not exhaustive and other events and risk
factors including risk factors disclosed in MPT’s filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities could cause
actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon information currently available and
what the Fund currently believes are reasonable assumptions. However, the Fund cannot assure investors that actual
results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the
date of this news release, and the Fund and the Manager assume no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new
events or circumstances. The Fund cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements,
which speak only as of the date made.
For further information, please contact:
Chief Financial Officer
Tel: (416) 607 5198
Tel: (416) 649 1325