ST. LOUIS, Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE: LG) is achieving shareholder value through growth and is well positioned for the coming year as highlighted by president and CEO Suzanne Sitherwood at the annual shareholder meeting.
During the meeting, Sitherwood emphasized the outward direction of Laclede and key achievements that led the company to a successful year. One year after announcing the acquisition of Missouri Gas Energy, Laclede was able to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire Alabama Gas Corporation. Leveraging its strong financial base, this transaction increased Laclede's market cap from $1.5 billion to $2.4 billion while further increasing natural gas customers to 1.56 million. At the same time, Laclede Gas and Missouri Gas Energy upgraded a combined 139 miles of pipeline to create an even safer and more reliable system for every customer. One year after announcing Spire Natural Gas Fueling Solutions, a second station located in Greer, South Carolina was announced.
At the meeting, Board Chairman William Nasser announced his retirement from the board and thanked his fellow directors and company leadership.
"We are deeply grateful for the 21 years of leadership and expertise that Bill has provided us at Laclede. With his guidance we have seen outstanding growth and success as a company while staying focused on the demands of running a natural gas enterprise safely, efficiently and profitably," said Sitherwood.
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected three directors:
- Mark A. Borer, retired chief executive officer and board member, DCP Midstream Partners LP for a term expiring at the annual meeting in 2018
- Maria V. Fogarty, retired senior vice president of internal audit and compliance, NextEra Energy, Inc. for a term expiring at the annual meeting in 2018
- Anthony V. Leness, retired managing director of investment banking - global power & energy, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. for a term expiring at the annual meeting in 2016
Shareholders also approved The Laclede Group 2015 Equity Incentive Plan and ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the independent registered public accountant for the company for the 2015 fiscal year.
At its meeting today, the board of directors appointed Ed Glotzbach as the new chairman of the board and declared a quarterly common stock dividend of 46 cents per share. The dividend is payable on April 2, 2015 to shareholders of record on March 11, 2015. The Laclede Group has continuously paid a cash dividend since 1946, with 2015 marking the company's 12th consecutive year of increasing its dividend on an annualized basis.
A video archive of the annual shareholder meeting is available on the company website.
ABOUT THE LACLEDE GROUP, INC.
The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE: LG), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a public utility holding company whose primary business is the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas service to more than 1.56 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across Missouri and Alabama. Its Gas Utility segment consists of three natural gas utilities: Laclede Gas Company (serving St. Louis and eastern Missouri), Missouri Gas Energy (serving Kansas City and western Missouri) and Alabama Gas Corporation (serving 186 cities and Alabama communities including Birmingham and Montgomery). Laclede's non-utility businesses include Laclede Energy Resources, Inc., providing non-regulated natural gas services, and Spire which provides compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling solutions for transportation fleets. Laclede is committed to pursuing growth through 1) investing in infrastructure; 2) organically growing its existing businesses; 3) acquiring businesses to which the Company can apply its operating model and natural gas industry expertise, and 4) developing and investing in CNG fueling and other technologies. For more information about Laclede and its subsidiaries, visit www.TheLacledeGroup.com.
SOURCE The Laclede Group, Inc.