Ontario to sell more Hydro One shares on TSX Wednesday

Hydro One announced Tuesday it's putting another large block of common shares on the market, five months after the province sold off billions of dollars worth of equity in the utility.

The province hopes to raise $1.71B

Five months after the province began selling off 60 per cent of Hydro One with an IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the province is putting a second block of shares on the market Wednesday, hoping to raise another $1.71 billion. (Hydro One)

Hydro One announced Tuesday that the utility and the Ontario government are putting another large block of shares on the market — five months after the province began the biggest sell-off of a Canadian crown corporation in 20 years.

The company announced in a news release it will sell more than 72 million shares at a price of $23.65 per share, for total gross proceeds of approximately $1.71 billion. 

The shares will be offered on the Toronto Stock Exchange starting Wednesday.

The sell-off is the latest step in the Wynne government's controversial plan to sell off 60 per cent of the utility and use the proceeds to help finance the province's infrastructure investments. Both opposition parties oppose the sale. 

A report by the province's financial accountability officer last October suggested the sale could have a long-term negative impact on the government's finances.

Last November, the Ontario government made history by selling a large chunk of Hydro One into private hands, putting 81 million shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange at $20.50 a share.

Investors snapped up around eight million more shares shortly after the initial sale. 

The province said the sale, combined with several tax benefits, meant the total financial gain was more than $5 billion. 

This latest share offering is being made through a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank. In addition, the province is offering investors the option of purchasing "an additional 10,865,200 Common Shares at the same price per share" which, if exercised in full, would raise the proceeds to approximately $1.97 billion.