MLT Aikins acts for 12 First Nations & Métis Settlements on acquisition of first majority interest in midstream assets

On December 13, 2023, the newly formed Wapiscanis Waseskwan Nipiy [Wha-pus-chanis Whas-esk-a-wan Nip-iy] Holding Limited Partnership (“WWN LP”), owned by 12 First Nations and Métis Settlements, acquired an 85% non-operated working interest in Clearwater Infrastructure Limited Partnership (“Clearwater”) for a purchase price of $146.2 million.

Clearwater is a partnership between WWN LP and Tamarack Valley Energy Ltd., a publicly traded, Canadian oil and gas exploration and production company (“Tamarack”), and owns an interest in certain strategic oil batteries, gas processing facilities and key in-field pipelines located in Nipisi, West Marten Hills, Marten Hills and Perryvale in Alberta (the “Midstream Assets”).

Tamarack made a take or pay commitment to Clearwater for use of the Midstream Assets over a 16-year period that will create stable revenue for the 12 First Nations and Métis Settlements participating in WWN LP for decades to come. Read the full news release here.

Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (“AIOC”) provided a loan guarantee of $150 million to facilitate WWN LP’s investment in Clearwater. Notably, this is the first AIOC loan guarantee issued in connection with a transaction involving an exploration and production company. It is also the first AIOC-guaranteed transaction involving the acquisition of a majority interest in infrastructure assets. This deal follows the recent Government of Alberta announcement that it is immediately increasing AIOC’s loan guarantee capacity from $1 billion to $2 billion, with a further increase in loan guarantee capacity to $3 billion in fiscal 2024-2025.

The MLT Aikins team representing WWN LP was led by Billie Fortier and Chris Nyberg. MLT Aikins has more than 300 dedicated lawyers in Western Canada and possesses a deep understanding of the needs of Indigenous communities and the Canadian energy sector.

The firm also has significant experience with supporting Indigenous communities in AIOC-supported deals. For more information or advice related to structuring or participating in future AIOC-supported deals, please contact Billie Fortier and Chris Nyberg or any other member of our Indigenous Practice Group.