Another Canadian Utility Looks South of Border for M&A Targets

  • Montreal gas distributor buys Maryland-based Standard Solar
  • Gaz Metro has $2.9 billion in U.S. assets, 315,000 Customers

Gaz Metro Inc. became the latest Canadian energy company to look south of the border for new sources of revenue after snapping up Standard Solar Inc. to tap into the growing U.S. renewable market.

Standard Solar said its acquisition by the Montreal natural gas distributor will speed up its growth in distributed generation and energy storage markets, according to a statement by the Rockville, Maryland-based company on Tuesday. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The purchase puts Gaz Metro in a growing field of Canadian companies that can’t seem to get enough of America’s energy assets. AltaGas Ltd. struck a deal to buy Washington utility owner WGL Holdings Inc. for $4.6 billion in January, while Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. completed its $1.49 billion purchase of Empire District Electric Corp. at the start of this year.

Gaz Metro is taking a different approach by going green with its acquisition, said Martin Imbleau, senior vice president of operations and new energies at Gaz Metro.

“There’s a significant growth opportunity for us in the U.S.,” Imbleau said in an interview. “What we’re buying is expertise and experience in the U.S. It’s not to replicate that model in Canada.”

Macquarie Capital served as financial advisor to Standard Solar.