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UK's National Grid investment by group including China's CIC approved

By Bo Leung in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-04-03 21:29

British Prime Minister Theresa May today gave the green light for a consortium , including China Investment Corporation, to acquire a 61 percent stake in National Grid Plc's gas division, a National Grid spokeswoman told China Daily.

The consortium, including CIC, Macquarie Bank of Australia, the Qatar Investment Authority and Allianz Capital Partners, will pay 3.6 billion pounds ($4.55 billion) for the stake.

CIC Capital will hold one of the largest stakes at 10.5 percent with Macquarie acquiring 14.5 percent.

The deal involving National Grid’s gas network, which is valued at 14 billion pounds, will be completed today. The European Union has approved the move.

The go-ahead by May is seen as a major testing ground for the UK government and its attitude towards foreign investment, and it comes just days after the Prime Minister triggered Article 50, the official process for leaving the European Union.

Foreign ownership of UK infrastructure has been under scrutiny since Theresa May ordered a review of the Hinkley Point deal in southwest Englandbefore approving Chinese investment in the 18-billion-pounds French-designed nuclear power station.

Media reports suggest that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is due to set out its long-awaited proposals for a foreign takeover regime, including a national interest clause.

The consultation may include a proposal that foreign bidders for stakes over a certain size in critical national infrastructure should be subject to government scrutiny.

Earlier this week, Qatar revealed plans to pump 5-billion pounds into the UK over the next 5 years with investments in transport, property and digital technology.

To contact the reporter: boleung@mail.chinadailyuk.com

Editor: Chris Peterson

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