By March 29, 2016 Read More →

Cleco Corp. sale okayed by Louisiana utility regulators

No rate increase promised in Cleco Corp. sale

Cleco Corp.

Cleco Corp. will maintain its headquarters in Pineville, Louisiana following completion of the

BATON ROUGE, La. _ On Monday, Louisiana utility regulators approved the sale of energy company Cleco Corp.

In February, the Louisiana Public Service Commission rejected the$4.9 billion deal, however, the sale was completed this week after the purchasers agreed to conditions.

Media reports on Monday’s meeting said PSC member Foster Campbell agreed to consider supporting the sale if a Cleco official agreed not to seek a rate increase. The official agreed and base rates will remain steady for two years.  Cleco will file a rate case by June 2019 for a new formula rate plan effective July 2020.

Investors also agreed to rate credits that, on average, will amount to $500 in rate credits for Cleco’s 287,000 Louisiana customers.

Under the new owners, Cleco Corp. will also prolong existing employee and retiree benefits and increase Louisiana representation on its board of directors to ensure safe, reliable electric utility service and efficient operations.

“This process produced a transaction that is unprecedented in its protections and commitments to all of those who depend on us each day. We look forward to pursuing upcoming opportunities with our new owners,” said Darren Olagues, president of Cleco Power.

The purchasing group is led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, John Hancock Financial and other North American infrastructure investors.

“We are committed to ensuring that Cleco remains a strong, locally-based utility in the years ahead and are appreciative that the LPSC voted to approve this sale,” said Andrew Chapman, senior managing director of MIRA.

Cleco shareholders had approved the sale but it needed PSC approval.

The sale is expected to close in April.  Upon completion of the deal, Cleco will continue to be headquartered in Pineville and will retain local management and existing workforce.

The company also sells wholesale power in Mississippi.

With files from The Canadian Press

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