The Alberta Investment Management Corp. is buying an 85 per cent equity stake in the Northern Courier pipeline from TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada Corp.

After the transaction closes, which is expected to be in the third quarter of 2019, TC Energy will hold an aggregate 15 per cent share in the pipeline and continue to operate it.

“The quality of the asset and the operator, along with the counterparty exposure, makes this a low-risk investment which is an ideal fit for our portfolio,” said Ben Hawkins, senior vice-president of infrastructure and renewable resources at the AIMCo, in a press release. “AIMCo has been working with TC Energy to acquire this stake in Northern Courier pipeline for several months in an effort to add geographic diversity to our infrastructure portfolio through greater exposure to Canadian infrastructure assets.”

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The pipeline system is 90 kilometres and transports bitumen and diluent between the Fort Hills mine site and Suncor Energy’s terminal located north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

“AIMCo is delighted to be partnered with TC Energy on this Alberta-based asset, which supports market access to billions of dollars’ worth of oilsands resources in the province,” said Kevin Uebelein, AIMCo’s chief executive officer. “Through this transaction, AIMCo’s clients acquire a high-quality infrastructure asset that continues to be operated by a recognized industry leader in the responsible development of North American energy infrastructure.”

In other investing news, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Québec has concluded an agreement in principal with mining company Iron Ore Co. of Canada for a $185 million preferred share offering. The deal comes as part of the company’s larger overall refinancing effort, which also includes various changes with other partners.

The refinancing is intended to allow Iron Ore to rework its current outstanding credit facilities to reduce its carrying costs. For the Caisse, which is already a strategic partner, the deal will rejig the US$100 million of long-term debt the pension fund already holds, with an additional allocation of $57 million.

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