ALBERT LEA, Minn., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliant Energy Corporation announced agreements today to sell its Minnesota electric and natural gas distribution businesses. The electric distribution business in the state will be sold to Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (SMEC), a combined group of 12 neighboring electric cooperatives. Alliant Energy's Minnesota natural gas business will be sold to Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc.
SMEC and Minnesota Energy Resources currently serve customers adjacent to Alliant Energy's utility operations in the state. SMEC-member utilities currently serve nearly 135,000 electric customers and Minnesota Energy Resources provides natural gas service to approximately 214,000 customers in Minnesota. Alliant Energy serves 43,000 electric customers and 10,600 natural gas customers spread over a significant footprint of nearly 15,000 square miles in southern Minnesota. Alliant Energy's Minnesota operations represent less than four percent of the company's overall customer base.
"Our Minnesota customers will be part of utilities with a significant, long-standing presence in the state," said Tom Aller, President of Alliant Energy's Minnesota and Iowa utility. "We would expect long-term customer benefits from the efficiencies achieved by combining our customer base with those of the purchasing utilities."
The combined sales price of the electric and natural gas assets is approximately $128 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. The electric sales agreement also includes a ten-year purchased power agreement (PPA) between SMEC and Alliant Energy's Iowa electric utility.
With the PPA agreement, Alliant Energy's current Minnesota electric customers will continue to receive energy from a diverse portfolio of generation resources while future electric generation needs and plans for Alliant Energy's Iowa utility are unchanged. Alliant Energy will continue to operate its electric generation facilities in Minnesota.
Along with customer value, Alliant Energy also focused on its employees when negotiating the sales proposals with the purchasing utilities. "The sale agreements will assure that our impacted Minnesota employees receive offers for continued employment after the sale," added Aller.
The sales of the company assets require state and federal approvals, which are expected to occur in six to twelve months. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as Alliant Energy's exclusive financial advisor on the electric transaction.
Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) provides service in southern Minnesota through its Interstate Power and Light subsidiary. Interstate Power and Light uses the trade name Alliant Energy. 43,000 electrical customers and 10,600 natural gas customers in Minnesota are served by the utility. Alliant Energy Corporation is committed to providing the energy and exceptional service its 1.4 million customers and communities expect – safely, reliably, and affordably. For more information, visit alliantenergy.com or call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).
This press release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified as such because the statements include words such as "expected," "approximately," "future," "plans" or other words of similar import. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Actual results could be affected by such factors as: regulatory actions or legal proceedings which delay, prevent or alter the proposed terms of the purchase or purchased power agreement, including inability to obtain all necessary approvals; events which cause the book value of the assets to change; federal and state regulatory or governmental actions, including the impact of energy and environmental legislation and regulatory agency orders; the availability of generating facilities and the supply, delivery and cost of fuel and purchased electricity; and the economy in Alliant Energy's service territory and the nation in general. These factors should be considered when evaluating the forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof and Alliant Energy and Alliant Energy's Iowa utility undertake no obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
SOURCE Alliant Energy Corporation