SAN DIEGO, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell EnergySouth, Inc. (EnergySouth), the parent company of Mobile Gas Service Corp. (Mobile Gas) and Willmut Gas & Oil Company (Willmut Gas), to The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE: LG). Cash proceeds to Sempra U.S. Gas & Power are expected to be approximately $323 million, subject to normal adjustments at close, and The Laclede Group, Inc. will assume existing debt of approximately $67 million. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power expects to record a gain on the sale upon closing.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. At close of the transaction, EnergySouth will consist of only Mobile Gas and Willmut Gas, and will not include Bay Gas Storage Company, Mississippi Hub, LLC, Liberty Gas Storage or Southern Gas Transmission, which will be retained by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power.
"We are very proud of the strong operating and safety performance of our teams at Mobile Gas and Willmut Gas," said Patti Wagner, president and CEO of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. "After careful consideration of our natural gas assets, we have entered into this agreement to sell our two southeast utilities to Laclede. We believe we can productively redeploy the proceeds from the sale into long-term growth opportunities that meet our strategy. Additionally, I want to thank each employee of Mobile Gas and Willmut Gas for their continued hard work and commitment in providing safe and reliable natural gas service to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Alabama and Mississippi."
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power.
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power acquired EnergySouth in 2008 and Willmut Gas in 2012.
Mobile Gas provides service to about 85,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Mobile and Baldwin counties in southwest Alabama.
Willmut Gas provides service to about 19,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in greater Hattiesburg (which includes portions of Forrest and Lamar Counties) as well as portions of Covington, Jones, Simpson and Rankin Counties.
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC is a leading developer of renewable energy and natural gas projects. For more information, visit www.SempraUSGP.com. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2015 revenues of $10 billion. The Sempra Energy companies' 17,000 employees serve more than 32 million consumers worldwide.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "intends," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "goals," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, national and international economic, competitive, political, legislative, legal and regulatory conditions, decisions and developments; actions and the timing of actions, including general rate case decisions, new regulations, issuances of permits to construct, operate and maintain facilities and equipment and use land, franchise agreements and licenses for operation, by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, California Energy Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Mexican Competition Commission, cities and counties, and other regulatory, governmental and environmental bodies in the United States and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction, maintenance and capital projects, including risks in obtaining, maintaining or extending permits, licenses, certificates and other authorizations on a timely basis and risks in obtaining adequate and competitive financing for such projects; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers, and delays in regulatory agency authorization to recover costs in rates from customers; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the North American transmission grid, moratoriums on the ability to withdraw natural gas from or inject natural gas into storage facilities, pipeline explosions and equipment failures; energy markets; the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; and the impact on the value of our natural gas storage assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for natural gas storage services; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; risks posed by decisions and actions of third parties who control the operations of investments in which we do not have a controlling interest, and risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; capital markets conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments, and inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, natural gas storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; terrorist attacks that threaten system operations and critical infrastructure; and wars; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong competitors willing to aggressively bid for these projects; weather conditions, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, equipment failures and other events that may disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gasses, radioactive materials and harmful emissions, and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, some of which may not be covered by insurance; disallowance of regulatory assets associated with, or decommissioning costs of, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station facility due to increased regulatory oversight, including motions to modify settlements; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company's (SDG&E) electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources and increased reliance on natural gas and natural gas transmission systems; the impact on competitive customer rates of the growth in distributed and local power generation and the corresponding decrease in demand for power delivered through SDG&E's electric transmission and distribution system; the inability or determination not to enter into long-term supply and sales agreements or long-term firm capacity agreements due to insufficient market interest, unattractive pricing or other factors; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on the company's website at www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra International, LLC, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC, and Sempra Partners, LP, are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra International, LLC, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC, and Sempra Partners, LP, are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. Sempra International's underlying entities include Sempra Mexico and Sempra South American Utilities. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's underlying entities include Sempra Renewables and Sempra Natural Gas.