National Grid to sell part of US energy business

POWER network operator National Grid is off-loading part of its American business for £178m in a deal that could mark the start of more disposals in the US.

National Grid is selling its Granite State Electric and EnergyNorth businesses in New Hampshire to Liberty Energy, part of Canada’s Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.

The UK company said the operations represented less than two per cent of its US business and it would use the proceeds to fund investment.

Chief executive Steve Holliday said: “The sale is in line with our strategy of improving returns in the US and selling assets from our portfolio if others see more value in them.”

Analysts said the group may need to sell more or all of its US business to fund UK investment, where it makes nearly three quarters of its profit.

Broker Killik & Co said the New Hampshire business had made poor returns and the price was reasonable.

Killik said Grid was awaiting more regulatory rulings from other US states and was limiting spending to maintenance.

The broker said: “Given the poor regulatory climate, we believe there is a reasonable chance the whole US business will be sold in time.”