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Province to loosen reins on Emera

Scott Balfour is the CEO of Emera. - Roger Taylor

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government introduced amendments to the NS Power Privatization Act (1992) and the NS Power Reorganization Act (1998) on Wednesday, which will allow for changes to the share ownership restrictions on energy conglomerate Emera Inc.

The amendments remove the current rules that prevent non-Canadian residents from holding more than 25 per cent of Emera voting shares. The legislation retains the existing restriction of any one shareholder holding more than 15 per cent of voting shares and reinforces Emera’s existing commitment to maintain its head office in Nova Scotia.

“We are pleased that the government of Nova Scotia is showing foresight and leadership in fostering continued economic growth in the province,” Scott Balfour, Emera’s president and CEO, says in a company news release.

By introducing this legislation, the company says the government is recognizing Emera’s success and the value of its head office commitment to Nova Scotia. Eliminating the shareholder restriction creates the opportunity for even more growth and value to the province in the future.

“The proposed update to the legislation gives Emera more funding flexibility and levels the competitive playing field for us — allowing Emera to attract investment capital and help facilitate the same opportunities for our growth that’s offered to industry players in other jurisdictions,” Balfour says in his Wednesday statement.

Over the past 20 years, Emera has grown from a single utility into a $32 billion publicly traded company based in Halifax with total revenue last year of $6.5 billion.

The company has 7,500 employees serving 2.5 million customers in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean.

“We are incredibly proud to be headquartered in Nova Scotia and to be part of the exciting growth that is happening in the province,” says Balfour. “Nova Scotia is a great place to do business and Emera’s growth to date is evidence of that.”

According to its news release, Emera says it primarily invests in regulated electricity generation and electricity and gas transmission and distribution “with a strategic focus on transformation from high carbon to low carbon energy sources.”

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