October 20, 2014 – A Locke Lord team provided counsel to Cleco Corporation in the $4.7 billion agreement to be acquired by a North American Investor Group announced today. Cleco is a public holding utility company and owner of regulated electric utility Cleco Power LLC.
The Locke Lord team was led by Partner David Taylor and Bill Swanstrom, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Energy Practice, and included Partners Michelle Earley, Mike Rutledge, Ben Cowan, Bruce Grabow, and Ed Razim, and Associates Pamela Taylor and Ben Smolij.
The investor group, led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, values the company at $4.7 billion including assumed debt. Under terms of the agreement, Cleco Power will remain independently operated by local management and headquartered in Pineville, Louisiana.
Under the terms of the agreement, the new owners will acquire all outstanding shares of Cleco Corporation for $55.37 per share in cash. The price represents approximately a 15 percent premium to Cleco's closing price of $48.27 on October 17, 2014, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the agreement. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Cleco shareholders, the approval of the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015.
Following the close of the transaction, Cleco Power LLC will continue to be regulated by the LPSC and FERC. The transaction will not affect residential or commercial rates for electricity.
The Cleco news release announcing the transaction is available here.