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But Quezada said the company’s share price performance is a recent improvement. AltaGas — which he considers to be part-utility and part midstream business — has underperformed its peers in both the utilities and midstream sectors in recent months.
AltaGas’s deal for a controlling stake in Petrogas will significantly expand the company’s midstream asset base, which the company has outlined as a growth area.
“This acquisition is consistent with our global export strategy, growing midstream operations and corporate focus on building a diversified, low-risk, high-growth utilities and midstream business,” AltaGas president and CEO Randy Crawford said in a release announcing the deal.
The company did not provide a response by deadline to questions about the current market for LPG exports to Asia on Monday. The market has been challenged this year as the coronavirus outbreak forced many countries into lockdown but demand for imported fuels in Asian countries has improved in recent months and analysts say the timing of the Petrogas deal is ideal for AltaGas.
AltaGas currently owns and is expanding its own LPG export facility on Ridley Island near Prince Rupert, B.C. The acquisition of the Ferndale LPG export facility is expected to dramatically bolster the company’s share of the market selling fuels derived from North American natural gas to Asian markets.
ATB Capital Markets research shows that spot prices for LNG in Japan have risen sharply since the market crashed earlier this year, and trading at US$4.39 per thousand cubic feet.
“The acquisition also marks an important move to expand its unique competitive position of LPG exports on the West Coast,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Ben Pham said, noting there’s a multiple year “growth trajectory” for global propane demand and AltaGas’s “enhanced footprint is well positioned to benefit from increased business activity and volume expansion.”
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