UPDATE 1-Asia's richest man to buy Dutch waste firm for $1.26 bln

Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:06pm EDT

* Deal partners include Li-controlled CKI, Power Assets, Li Ka Shing Foundation

* Cheung Kong aims to secure steady recurring income from overseas deals

* Cheung Kong shares up more than 2 pct, outpacing main index (Adds details and analysis on deal, Li Ka-shing units' overseas investment strategy)

By Donny Kwok and Denny Thomas

HONG KONG, June 17 (Reuters) - Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd , controlled by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, said it will buy Dutch waste processing firm RAV Water Treatment I B.V. for 943.68 million euros ($1.26 billion), in an overseas expansion drive that has targeted infrastructure assets offering steady recurring income.

Li's business empire, which spans property, telecoms, ports and retailing, has been seeking stable investment opportunities in well-regulated markets outside of Hong Kong, where its opportunities for expansion are becoming limited.

Other partners in the acquiring consortium include Hutchison Whampao Ltd's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd , Power Assets Holdings Ltd and Li Ka Shing Foundation Ltd.

They are buying AVR-Afvalverwerking B.V., owner of RAV Water Treatment I B.V., which processes waste and supplies renewable energy from waste incineration in the Netherlands.

Cheung Kong Infrastructure, Hong Kong's No. 2 property developer, and its investment arms have spent $14.2 billion, including debt, buying assets globally over the past decade, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Last year, companies controlled by octogenarian billionaire Li agreed to buy British gas company Wales and West Utilities for $1 billion. In 2010, Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Power Asset Holdings agreed to buy the British electricity distribution networks of France's EDF SA for 5.8 billion pounds ($9.1 billion).

The Dutch acquisition marks the group's second deal in waste management, after Australian private equity firm Ironbridge sold its New Zealand waste company, EnviroWaste Services Ltd, to Cheung Kong Infrastructure for NZ$501 million ($405 million), including NZ$11 million in debt, in January.

Cheung Kong Holdings and Cheung Kong Infrastructure will each hold 35 percent of the joint venture acquiring the Dutch company. Power Assets will hold 20 percent and Li Ka Shing Foundation will own 10 percent. The investment will be financed from internal resources.

For a company statement, click here

Shares of Cheung Kong rose 3 percent on Monday but are down more than 9 percent since the start of the year. Hong Kong's benchmark index was up 1.1 percent on the day, but is down nearly 7 percent for the year.

Among the other Li Ka-shing units involved in the deal, Cheung Kong Infrastructure gained 3.3 percent, Power Assets was up 1.9 percent and Hutchison climbed 2.6 percent. ($1 = 0.7496 euros, 0.6379 British pounds, 1.2356 New Zealand dollars) (Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Edmund Klamann)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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