Victor Li acquires Canada's Reliance Home Comfort for C$2.8 billion

John Tilak

TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Victor Li, co-chairman of

Husky Energy Inc and son of one of Asia's richest men,

has agreed to acquire Reliance Home Comfort, a Canadian provider

of heating and cooling systems, from U.S. investment firm Alinda

Capital Partners for C$2.8 billion ($2.10 billion), Reliance

said on Friday.

Li's acquisition comes through his CKP Canada vehicle, a

unit of Hong Kong property developer Cheung Kong Property

Holdings Ltd. Li is the heir to Hong Kong billionaire

and property tycoon Li Ka-shing.

Barclays was exclusive adviser to Li. Alinda's

advisers were Goldman Sachs and Canadian Imperial Bank of

Commerce. Torys provided Alinda with legal advice.

Reliance provides heating, cooling and water services to

both consumers and businesses. By renting water heaters and

other equipment, Reliance Comfort has a recurring revenue stream

that gives it the qualities of an infrastructure play.

Several U.S. private equity firms also looked at the asset,

according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on

condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

Reliance has expanded in recent years. It acquired National

Energy Corp, a provider of water heater and HVAC home services,

for C$505 million from Just Energy Group Inc in 2014.

Along with its own SmartAir line, Reliance offers furnaces

and air conditioners from United Technologies Corp's

Carrier, as well as the Goodman and Amana brands.

Other players in the space include Canadian publicly listed

companies Enercare Inc and Just Energy.

Alinda is one the largest U.S. managers of pension funds for

infrastructure investments. It has about $10 billion of assets

under management. It has invested across the United States,

Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, according to its

website.

Alinda's current investments include London's Heathrow

Airport and Polish broadcast infrastructure firm Emitel.

($1 = 1.3334 Canadian dollars)

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)