The Government of Ontario has raised $2.8 billion from the Province’s final Hydro One share offering.
The Province also granted an over-allotment option to the underwriters to purchase up to an additional 12,000,000 common shares, which if exercised in full, would result in total gross proceeds of approximately $3.1 billion.
With the completion of this transaction, the Province will have exceeded its objective to raise $9 billion in gross proceeds and other revenue benefits from broadening the ownership of Hydro One.
The Province will remain the largest shareholder in Hydro One and is prohibited by law from reducing its ownership below 40 per cent. By law, no other shareholder or group of shareholders is permitted to own more than 10 per cent of the company.
“Over the last two years, the new leadership at Hydro One has demonstrated its commitment to improved performance and customer service excellence,” said Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy. “Since the Government of Ontario will remain the single largest shareholder, Ontarians will continue to see ongoing value from our ownership stake for years to come.”
According to the official statement, the money raised will allow the government to invest in priority transit and transportation projects including GO Regional Express Rail, light rail transit, improvements to roads and bridges and natural gas network expansion in rural and northern communities.
MPP Patrick Brown the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and the Official Opposition opposed the sale of the “fire sale” of Hydro One and demanded halting any further sale of shares in Hydro One.
Ontario NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns said on May 8, 2018 that “if elected in 2018 New Democrats will fix the electricity system broken by private power deals signed by Liberals and Conservatives, and put Hydro One back into public hands where it belongs, so that the benefits can help fund hospitals, schools and vital public services. ”
The sale of a further 20 per cent of shares in the once proudly public Hydro One is “piracy, not policy”, saidWarren (Smokey) Thomasthe President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
The loss of ownership and control over Hydro One will cost Ontarians financially in two ways, Thomas said – first, because the public treasury will lose the revenues Hydro One earned, and second, because electricity prices will keep rising in a privatized environment.