The Laclede Group Announces the Sale of New England Gas Company to Algonquin
Power & Utilities Corp.
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 11, 2013
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Laclede Group, Inc. ("Laclede")
today announced that Laclede has entered into an agreement ("New Agreement")
with Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. ("APUC") that will allow an APUC
subsidiary to assume Laclede's rights to purchase the assets of New England
Gas Company ("NEG"), subject to certain approvals and conditions described
below. NEG is a natural gas utility serving 50,000 customers in Massachusetts,
an operating division of Southern Union Company ("Southern Union"), an
affiliate of Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Laclede announced on December 17, 2012 that one of its wholly owned
subsidiaries had entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Southern
Union to acquire the assets of NEG ("Initial Agreement").
"Algonquin shares our promise to maintain the high standards of safety,
service and operational excellence for the customers and employees of New
England Gas Company," said Suzanne Sitherwood, president and chief executive
officer of Laclede. "While we had made plans for welcoming New England Gas
Company into the Laclede family, Algonquin presented an offer to purchase New
England Gas. In addition to being a strong utility operator like Laclede,
Algonquin brings with it the advantage of already having operations in the
region. Accordingly, this transaction will provide value to both our
shareholders and NEG's customers, without affecting the rest of the
APUC's acquisition of NEG is subject to approval from the Massachusetts
Department of Public Utilities. Laclede and Southern Union filed for
regulatory approval with the department on January 24, 2013, and as a result
of this agreement with APUC, the parties will work to amend that filing to
include approval of APUC's acquisition of NEG.
The parties entered into a Consent Agreement reflecting, among other things,
Southern Union's consent and agreement to facilitate APUC's acquisition of NEG
by means of the New Agreement after all conditions to closing under the
Initial Agreement as well as under the New Agreement have been satisfied. The
Laclede subsidiary will remain obligated to acquire NEG pursuant to the terms
of the Initial Agreement with Southern Union in the event that APUC is not
able to satisfy all conditions to closing on or before October 14, 2013. The
companies expect to close both of these transactions before the end of the
third quarter of calendar 2013. The transactions do not impact Laclede's
acquisition of Southern Union's Missouri Gas Energy division, also announced
in December 2012. MGE is a natural gas utility serving over 500,000 customers
in Kansas City and portions of Western Missouri.
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is acting as financial advisor to Laclede.
The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE: LG), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a
public utility holding company. Its subsidiary, Laclede Gas Company, the
regulated operations of which are included in the Regulated Gas Distribution
segment, serves approximately 630,000 residential, commercial and industrial
customers in St. Louis City and parts of 10 counties in eastern Missouri.
Laclede's primary non-utility business, Laclede Energy Resources, Inc.,
included in the Non-Regulated Gas Marketing segment, provides non-regulated
natural gas services. Laclede Group is committed to pursuing growth through 1)
developing and investing in emerging technologies; 2) investing in
infrastructure; 3) acquiring businesses to which the Company can apply its
operating model, and 4) leveraging its current business unit competencies. For
more information about Laclede and its subsidiaries, visit
CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This news release may include certain statements concerning expectations for
the future, including statements regarding the anticipated benefits and other
aspects of the transaction described above, that are forward-looking
statements as defined by federal law. Such forward-looking statements are
subject to a variety of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other
factors that are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control
of the management teams of Laclede or APUC. Among those is the risk that the
transactions described above may not be consummated or that the anticipated
benefits from the transactions cannot be fully realized. An extensive list of
factors that can affect future results are discussed in the reports filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission by Laclede. Laclede does not undertake
any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect
new information or events.
SOURCE The Laclede Group, Inc.
Contact: Investors, Scott W. Dudley Jr., +1-314-342-0878,
sdudley@TheLacledeGroup.com or Media, Jessica B. Willingham, +1-314-342-3300,
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