Commission Postpones Decision On $4.9B Cleco Sale

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana regulators have postponed their decision on whether to reconsider their rejection of a $4.9 billion bid from investors to purchase Cleco Corp.

         Public Service Commission members decided that they will vote Monday to determine if the transaction should continue, media outlets reported.

         The commission, whose permission the Cleco buyers need, rejected the sale Feb. 24.

         Cleco and the prospective buyers requested a rehearing. Investors hoped for a vote on Tuesday, but the motion to do so was withdrawn.

         The coalition of buyers interested in the utility includes Australia-based Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and the British Columbia Investment Management Corp.

         Officials with Cleco and Macquarie said they were unprepared to comment publicly immediately after Tuesday's hearing.

         Last week, the potential buyers made additions to the offer, including $15 million in grants for economic development and a 10-year commitment to keep employee levels and benefits the same.

         Richard Carbo, a spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards, says the governor's chief of staff, Ben Nevers, met with Cleco and Macquarie officials to discuss the sale. Edwards briefly joined the meeting and said the buyers' latest proposal has addressed some initial concerns.

         "Based on this new information, the governor expressed to several members of the commission his support for the new proposal," Carbo wrote in a statement.

         The new company would be privately held instead of owned by the holders of publicly traded stock.



Categories: Energy, Today’s Business News