On October 5, 2022, Enbridge Inc. (“Enbridge”) sold an 11.57 percent non-operating interest in seven Enbridge-operated pipelines to a consortium of 23 First Nation and Métis communities in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta for $1.12 billion.
This transaction marked a ground-breaking step in the relationship between Indigenous peoples and industry in Canada.
Traditionally, Indigenous participation has come in the form of royalties, procurement and employment opportunities, capacity payments and other non-equity forms of participation. This transaction was for an equity investment in existing infrastructure, further integrating Indigenous communities with industry operating in their traditional territories. A newly created entity, Athabasca Indigenous Investments (“Aii”), will steward the investment by the Indigenous groups, which represents the largest energy-related Indigenous economic partnership transaction in North America to date.
Torys LLP acted as counsel to Enbridge with a team that included Peter Danner, Derek Flaman, Lianne Tysowski, Amy Maginley, Carleigh Kennedy, Collin Intrater, Tanis Makowsky and Matt Bean (corporate/oil and gas), Kevin Fougere and Tyrel Henderson (financing); Michael Zackheim, Jon McDonald and Logan Orr (capital markets), Craig Maurice and Steve Marshall (tax).
Boughton Law acted as counsel to Athabasca Indigenous Investments.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted as counsel to ATB, lenders to the Indigenous consortium.
Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as counsel to the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation with a team that included Leland Corbett, Andrew Foster, and Brian Reigh.
Dentons acted as counsel to Bank of Montreal, agent for the senior bond offering.