Laclede CEO on $1.3B Deal for Alabama Gas

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April 7 (Bloomberg) –- Laclede Group CEO Suzanne Sitherwood discusses the purchase of Alabama gas for $1.3 billion. She speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

This is "taking stock." i'm pimm fox.

Today's theme is doing things with style.

Last year, more than 5.5 million beauty and wellness appointments were booked on style feed.

We will talk to the chief executive and find out how she filled this style void.

It is in nearly 15,000 u.s. cities.

In the sun bright tv brings electronic style to your home indoors and out.

Also built for sporting venues as well as your backyard.

It is monday, so they will try to stump me with my mystery guest.

We will see if they can do so.

But first, headlines from carol massar.

The big headline today was the continued drop in u.s. stocks.

The s&p 500 losing more than one percent.

The index now at a three week low that has erased the benchmark game for the entire year.

Coke industries run by the koch brothers and goldman sachs are near buying flickr group for cvc -- from cvc capital partners.

The deal may be announced as early as this week.

And consumer borrowing in the united states rising more than forecast in the month of february.

The 16.5 billion dollar credit exceeded all estimates in a bloomberg survey of economists.

Back over to you.

Mergers and acquisitions.

Over 400 billion so far this year in the united states.

Today, five deals each worth more than $1 billion an ounce today.

One of them involves a group that agreed to acquire alabama gas from energen.

About $1.3 billion in cash.

Joining me now from st.

Louis is the chief executive, suzanne sitherwood.

Outline for us, why did you decide to purchase this unit of energy aen.

Think for having me today.

We are a gas company that provides natural gas service to customers in the st.

Louis area as well as kansas city and throughout missouri.

When it became available, we decided to get very involved in the bidding process and fortunately, we prevailed.

Why do you want to expand your asset base into alabama?

We said about a growth strategy two years ago and we wanted to grow the likely -- laclede group.

By acquiring gas companies, investing in infrastructure, and growing our other companies organically.

And investing in technologies relevant to the gas industry.

Alec asko-- alagasco hit our sweet spot.

Can we look for more acquisitions as part of the strategy act oh?


As our company continues to grow, we will see if we are ready.

And if we can create additional shareholder value.

If we are ready, we will engage in that process.

Can you give us the value proposition of why this particular asset?

What does it add to laclede?

It's a gas company so it extends or geographical footprint outside of missouri in the fine state of alabama.

What i mean by that from an economic development perspective and customer perspective, it's very strong.

And from a regulatory perspective, the state commission has an aggressive rate making process.

The commission rates at high.

Not only did we get the geographic of her city, but we got regulatory diversity.

Tell us about the regulatory diversity and what you're seeing in terms of trends coming from regulators coming from various states.

You follow rate increases every three to five years.

Here in alabama, the progressive rate making is a continuous process whereby you foul with the commission once a year in december.

And the commission is really staying in front of that commission at a continuous basis instead of coming and going every three to five years.

Explain how the dynamics has changed since you got into the utility business.

Energen wants to take it for exploration and production.

I have been in this business for over 30 years now.

We are on the retail side of the gas company trajectory.

From emp to interstate pipelines to the retail customer.

Be it at your homes or places of business and industry and manufacturing.

That is what we do best and we have elected to continue to grow.

Do you find that there will be more strategic acquisitions and sales of other energy companies because there is this realignment going on when it comes to at least a gas transmission infrastructure?

That is what we set out for the growth strategy a couple years ago.

With mlp and combo companies and electric, they will deploy their capital to the highest calling.

There are gas companies a part of their company.

In terms of what their major strategy is.

What about the strategy of investors in the form of new dividends?

It complements that strategic goal.

The acquisition is creative in year one.

It is a tremendous amount of cash flow and helps us with our dividend.

Suzanne sitherwood, executive of the laclede group.

I will take a look at one company looking to take charge of your drive.

It is monday and time for the first mystery guest.

My mystery guest wants to help bring back the power breakfast.

? did you ever wish that your car were smart and could notify you of oncoming traffic?

Or tell you how tired you are to prevent you from driving?

Matt miller sat down with harman international chairman and chief executive to talk about making cars brainier.

One thing i feel very strongly about is that cars, whthey have all sorts foof integration of iphone, android, or whatever.

In five years, it could be a different maker of phones.

The users can drive any car whether it is $30,000 or $100,000. you have peace of mind and a better software solution that will always work for 10 years.

What do you think the future is as far as innovations?

You mentioned lane departure and forward collision warning.

These are in cars now.

What next?

Next is the area of safety.

Geo-positioning and understanding.

Traffic reduction before it is too late.

They are also working very closely with the electric car companies.

The takeaway the cars and when they reduce the weight, you have a carbon fiber body and all sorts of noise problems.

You can go to a carbon fiber body and use physics.

The road noise would be a nuisance to drive electric cars, it goes away.

We talk about self driving cars.

It is very much shoulder to shoulder.

We learn from each other.

We push the envelope and more automation comes to the car.

It is easier to connect with your lifestyle.

Talk to me about the safety.

You're not just talking about airbags and abs control.

Almost an autonomous car.

We have decided to focus on camera based 360 degree coverage.

In bad weather or good weather, the forward collision warning is very precision based.

A few things, like night vision, and working on a technology to detect how tired the driver is.

They were a leading company in software development and we are starting to bring the safety aspects.

It used to be only available in the high-end hundred thousand dollar car.

We're bringing those so that mass people can appreciate that.

Building safer cars for the road.

Our very own matt miller conducted the interview and is here with me now.

You said there are additional things they are working on.

It's not only what is going on in the automobile?

The automobile industry accounts for 75% of their revenue.

But they are looking out into a lot of different fields where they are hoping to -- software.

Huge in software.

They still do a lot of hardware for cars and they will do some hardware also for buildings.

They do football stadiums around the u.s. and soccer stadiums and other countries.

They completely wire it for audio and video.

You can ask them about this but they completely wire for video.

For the fee for world cup?

-- fifa world cup?

Television systems, audio systems, someone works with them on those.

Another thing that he was telling me about and he actually showed me a demonstration of this new software patch or an app that they have that is able to rebuild the compressed music of our era.

Explain how that works.

A recording of music has to be compressed.

For mp3. when we were younger, we were listening to vinyl record.

That went to cassette tapes, cds, mp3s. it gets compressed and destroyed.

He spent time with 50 cent.

Art young is interested in this idea of sound degradation.

They're doing everything they can to make a super high quality recording and we are destroying them.

He comes up with the new apple or software solution to rebuild the highs and the lows they get clipped when you compressed music.

One thing that goes on inside the automobile has to do with camera.

Rear facing cameras.

Announcing today that they will be producing some automobiles in which they will do if left and right side mirrors.

I have a front facing camera on my ford f1 50. they are becoming more and more prevalent.

They do the entire 360 degree camera view.

Not only can you see in different places on your screen, a lot of them are just set up for detection.

Lane changes and blind spots.

The software that runs those cameras is a huge part of what they do.

If somebody else can do something for me cheaper, faster, and better, let them do it.

I'm all for outsourcing that hardware work.

He wants to do creative software solution.

The federal government has mandated -- they do the systems for bmw, mercedes, volkswagen.

He also sold to blackberry a few years ago.

He is starting to make deals to do software for american cars.

He is also doing super high-end speaker and audio systems.

They have a great headphone business.

The consumer business is -- they are using store showrooms.

It is incredibly important as a brand driver.

Bmw says we love the speakers but you've got to do something consumer facing so that they know how good this stuff is when they get in our cars.

It rains, it pours, it is sunny and bright.

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Meet stadiums favorite son bright tv.


? bright sunlight, overcast skies, the weather is no obstacle watching a sun-bright tv.

They are televisions able to withstand extreme temperatures and in visible against insects.

With the technology behind it, the vice president of marketing joins us from los angeles.

Describe for us exactly what is it that son bright -- sun bright tv's do that others can't. we design and manufacture tvs for outdoor use.

The televisions are designed from the ground up to be completely weatherproof.

The rain, sleet, snow, they are able to handle extreme temperatures.

Making a 10 high definition tv for the outdoors.

These are made in thousand oaks california?

We make them in the u.s., designed and manufactured in our facility.

It is a little bedroom community in suburban los angeles.

What kind of sizes can people get them for their residential use?

We will get to commercial in to second.

For residential, we had the signature series about two years ago that of the best-selling outdoor televisions in the world.

The sizes range from 32 inches to 65 inches.

The prices start at 1495 msrp.

Do you have the 65 inch in your backyard?

I have a 46 inch tv.

My goodness.

Let's say you wanted to talk about sporting venues.

Where is son brightsun bright used?

They are in new york, boston, denver, tampa bay, miami , cincinnati, kansas city.

A lot of them are using our residential tvs in boston, metlife, and new york.

We have a professional series of television that is very ruggedly built and can survive a shotgun blast.

Sometimes the stadiums use those.

Just in case there has to be something that goes off.

I wonder if you can describe the antecedents.

Is this something used in the professional moviemaking industry?

The genesis of the idea came with the founder back in 2004. we have been manufacturing these tvs for over 10 years.

A baseball fan living in southern california and he wanted to watch the giants and dodgers game.

Or does he spend the afternoon with his wife enjoying the day?

His idea is, why not do both?

It was an innovative group of manufacturers that put together -- how do i make it television that actually works in every kind of weather condition outdoors?

Through innovation and design, they came up with a very great solution.

Is there some sort of secret technology or is it just the brightness?

There is no secret formula.

We took very good parts, so the lcd panel is 20% or 40% brighter than a conventional tv.

We have a matte finish rather than the pretty gloss finish that cuts down activity.

A lot of the other magic is in the mechanical and iterative design that we do to these things and make them completely weatherproof to last for years and years.

I want to thank you very much for joining us, the vice president of marketing for sun bright tv.

Time for on the markets on bloomberg.

The dow jones industrial average shed more than one percent.

Down 166 points.

The s&p 500 loses 20 points.

1845 on the close.

The nasdaq dropping more than one percent, nearly 48 whites.

Coming up next, how your phones can help you stay beautiful.



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