Investor Group Pays $3.4B for LA Power Company Cleco

PINEVILLE, LA (AP) — An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.

         The group will pay $55.37 in cash for each share of Cleco, which owns the regulated electric utility Cleco Power. That amounts to a 15 percent premium on the stock's closing price of $48.27 on Friday, the last trading day before the deal was announced.

         The buyer group includes British Columbia Investment Management Corp.

         The deal, expected to close in the second half of next year, is valued at about $4.7 billion when $1.3 billion in debt is included.

         Cleco Corp., based in Pineville, Louisiana, will continue to operate as an independent company under local management. The company also said there will be no change in utility rates or employment levels.

         The company generates and sells electricity mostly in Louisiana, where it has about 284,000 customers. Cleco also supplies wholesale power in Mississippi.

         Cleco's stock has climbed 3.5 percent so far this year, a slightly better gain than the 2 percent growth registered by the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

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