Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Canadian group buys Puget Sound Energy

The state's largest utility will soon have new private ownership:
Puget Energy, the parent company, says the consortium is paying $30 per share, a 25 percent premium over Thursday's closing stock price of $23.95. The consortium is paying cash for shares.

The deal is subject to the approval of shareholders and regulators but the company expects it to close in the second half of 2008. The headquarters will remain in Bellevue. Steve Reynolds will remain as chief executive officer with current management and employees.

Puget Sound Energy has more than 1 million electricity customers and 721,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties, mostly in Western Washington.

The buyers' group is led by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation.
The company is painting this deal rosily, which is typical for corporate takeovers or acquisitions. While those who are wary have good reason to feel that way, the Governor doesn't seem too concerned:
Puget Sound Energy has a long record of being a good corporate citizen and providing Washington with an essential public service. I believe the company will continue to reflect our communities' values and will be able to invest in meeting the energy needs of Washingtonians.
Let's hope so. Many PSE customers are still not entirely thrilled with the company's response to the Hanukkah Eve Windstorm last December.


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