EL PASO, Texas & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--El Paso Electric Company (EPE) (NYSE: EE) and the Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) today announced that they have reached an agreement in principle with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) staff and most intervenors regarding IIF’s proposed acquisition of EPE. In response to this development, the PUCT issued an order delaying the hearing on the merits in order to assist in reaching a unanimous settlement. The parties will continue discussions and will provide an update on the status of settlement at the PUCT’s regularly scheduled meeting on December 13, 2019.
EPE and IIF issued the following statement:
We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with the PUCT Staff and intervenors. This agreement in principle is an important milestone toward completing IIF’s acquisition of EPE and demonstrates our shared belief that this transaction creates meaningful benefits for EPE and EPE’s communities, customers, and employees. We look forward to submitting the settlement agreement for review and approval to the PUCT.
As previously announced, the proposed transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
About El Paso Electric
El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 430,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico.
About The Infrastructure Investments Fund
The Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) is a $12.2 billion private investment vehicle advised by a dedicated infrastructure investment group within J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc. IIF is responsible for investing and growing the retirement funds of more than 40 million families, including 2 million people across Texas and New Mexico who will be invested in El Paso Electric. Headquartered in New York and London, IIF’s investments are generally focused on companies that provide essential services, such as energy, water and transportation, to local communities either under a regulatory construct or long-term contracts.
IIF’s 19 portfolio companies are located primarily in the United States, Western Europe and Australia, and include 12 energy, utility and electric generation companies. IIF also has significant experience developing renewable energy sources, having invested over $3.5 billion in renewable power generation assets which collectively provide 5.3 GW of renewable capacity (enough to power over three million homes for a year).
IIF’s family of companies serve over 20 million customers and employ over 9,000 people who actively engage in their communities by building good relationships, providing open and ongoing communications and transparency over activities, and giving back through volunteer activities, community funding and philanthropic initiatives.
Certain matters discussed in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include those statements regarding regulatory approvals and the expected timing of completion of the proposed transaction. Forward-looking statements often include words like “believe”, “anticipate”, “target”, “project”, “expect”, “predict”, “pro forma”, “estimate”, “intend”, “will”, “is designed to”, “plan”, and words of similar meaning, or are indicated by EPE's discussion of strategies or trends. Forward-looking statements describe EPE's future plans, objectives, expectations or goals. Although EPE believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurances can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct. Such statements address future events and conditions and include, but are not limited to, statements relating to: (1) IIF’s proposed acquisition of EPE, (2) regulatory approvals for the proposed transaction, (3) the completion of the proposed transaction, and (4) the expected timing of completion of the proposed transaction. This information may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements is contained in EPE’s most recently filed periodic reports and in other filings made by EPE with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Any such forward-looking statement is qualified by reference to these risks and factors. EPE cautions against putting undue reliance on forward-looking statements or projecting any future results based on such statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release, and EPE does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement contained herein.