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UtiliCorp Sees Formation of Pulse Energy in Australia as

  Important Step to Capture Retail Market Share   Business Editors   KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 30, 2000--Continuing to  leverage its investments in growing international energy networks,  UtiliCorp United (NYSE:UCU) today said that Melbourne-based United  Energy Limited, managed and 34 percent owned by UtiliCorp, has closed  its transaction with Shell Australia, Woodside Energy and Ikon Energy  to establish Pulse Energy, a joint energy marketing venture in  Australia.   UtiliCorp holds a 50 percent economic interest in Ikon Energy, a  gas retailer which is managed by United Energy.   "Pulse Energy will retail electricity and gas to more than 1.1  million electricity and gas customers in Victoria, Australia," said  UtiliCorp President and Chief Operating Officer Robert K. Green, "and  it has the potential to access another 9 million energy customers in  the country's eastern states and in South Australia."   The joint venture positions UtiliCorp and its Pulse Energy  partners to capitalize on the ongoing deregulation of the national  Australian electricity and gas market, Green said. United Energy and  Ikon have a combined 50 percent ownership position in the new joint  venture.   "With the retail energy markets becoming contestable next year,  Pulse Energy will provide Australia's first large-scale combination of  electricity and gas services," Green said.   Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp United is an international  electric and gas company with energy customers and operations across  the U.S. and in Canada, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Germany,  Spain, New Zealand and Australia. At March 31, 2000, UtiliCorp had  total assets of $7.5 billion and 12-month sales of $19.6 billion.  Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at   "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation  Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding  UtiliCorp United Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are  "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties and  could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the  forward-looking statements.   Note to editors: The following news release was issued in  Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, June 29. All financials below are  expressed in Australian dollars.   UNITED ENERGY CLOSES PULSE ENERGY TRANSACTION   United Energy announced today it had closed the transaction with  Shell Australia, Woodside Energy and Ikon Energy to establish Pulse  Energy -- a joint energy marketing venture.   Pulse Energy will retail electricity and gas to more than 1.1  million electricity and gas customers in Victoria, with the potential  to access a further 9 million energy customers in the eastern states  and South Australia.   United Energy will contribute its electricity retail customers in  return for $A350 million. It will invest $A118 million into Pulse  Energy for a 25% shareholding. Energy Partnership (Ikon Energy), which  is owned by United Energy's cornerstone shareholders (AMP and  UtiliCorp), will contribute its gas retail customers to Pulse Energy  and will also have a 25% shareholding. Shell Australia will have a 40%  shareholding and Woodside Energy a 10% shareholding.   The transaction results in United Energy receiving net proceeds of  approximately $A232 million. Initially this will be used to retire  debt and to position the company to take advantage of future growth  opportunities. United Energy will record a one-time abnormal gain of  approximately $A83 million on the sale of its retail business to Pulse  Energy.   United Energy will provide Pulse Energy with e-commerce based  customer support services and information technology services, under a  seven-year contract, starting in 2001. The contract is projected,  based on expected customer growth, to generate revenue of $A435  million. Under a separate two-year agreement United Energy will  provide corporate support services such as accounting, treasury,  regulatory and human resources. This contract produces annual revenue  of $A1 million.   EdgeCap, a new electricity and gas merchant business proposed to  be formed by United Energy, Shell Australia and Woodside Energy, will  provide risk management and hedging services to Pulse Energy.   EdgeCap will draw on the substantial trading and risk management  skills of United Energy, and access to significant gas resources held  by Shell and Woodside.   United Energy Background   United Energy is one of Australia's fastest growing energy  companies. It serves approximately 560,000 electricity customers in  Melbourne's south, east and the Mornington Peninsula and 520,000 gas  customers in Melbourne's north and east.   United Energy buys and sells electricity in the wholesale market,  trades related commodities, and sells risk management products. United  Energy also offers energy retailers a range of back office services  including call center, metering, billing and account collection  functions. United Energy's telecommunications business has developed  fiber optic networks in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.   United Energy is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has  more than 52,000 predominantly Australian domiciled shareholders. AMP  and UtiliCorp own 57.8% of United Energy.   PULSE ENERGY BACKGROUND   Pulse Energy is set to be Australia's most significant and  innovative energy retailer as a result of combining the strengths of  leading energy companies.   United Energy Ltd., Energy Partnership (Ikon Energy Pty Ltd.),  Shell Australia Ltd., and Woodside Energy Ltd. have formed Pulse  Energy. Pulse Energy will initially service more than one million  electricity and gas customers in Victoria, with the aim of rapidly  becoming a national energy player.   With retail energy markets becoming progressively contestable from  2001, Pulse Energy will have access to potentially 10 million energy  customers in eastern Australia, and will provide Australia's first  large-scale combination of electricity and gas services.   Pulse Energy will provide smart efficiencies for customers and  will deliver innovations such as e-commerce facilities including web-  based bill payments. Additionally Fly Buys points will also be offered  to residential customers.   Pulse Energy combines United Energy's existing customer base and  extensive operating and marketing expertise with Shell's considerable  retail strengths, and the vast gas resources of both Shell and  Woodside.     
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