A consortium led by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing has agreed to acquire a British gas distribution company for $US1 billion, the companies say.
Consortium leader Cheung Kong Holdings says it plans to acquire MGN Gas Networks, which owns gas distributer Wales & West Utilities, from investors including Macquarie Global Infrastructure Funds 2 SARL.
Wales & West Utilities supplies 7.4 million customers in Wales and southwestern England with a total length of main gas pipeline of 35,000km.
The company represents a "quality investment which would provide long-term steady recurring income contribution", the consortium said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
It also reflects Cheung Kong Holdings' "strategy to embrace new growth opportunities through diversification and globalisation".
Cheung Kong -- which already owns or operates infrastructure businesses in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, mainland China, the United Kingdom, and Canada -- paid nearly $US4 billion to buy one of Britain's biggest water utilities, Northumbrian Water, last year.
The flagship company of Li, who is worth $US22 billion according to Forbes magazine, Cheung Kong has invested heavily abroad as it seeks to broaden its earnings base outside Hong Kong.
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