Fortis Inc. (“Fortis” or the “Corporation”) (TSX:FTS) and CH Energy Group, Inc. (“CH Energy Group”) (NYSE:CHG), the parent company of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation (“Central Hudson”), announced today that the New York State Public Service Commission (the “NYSPSC”) has voted to approve the Corporation’s agreement to acquire CH Energy Group (the “Acquisition”). Closing of the Acquisition is expected to occur shortly after receipt, review and acceptance of the official written order of the NYSPSC.
On February 21, 2012, Fortis and CH Energy Group announced that Fortis had entered into an agreement to acquire CH Energy Group for US$65.00 in cash per share, representing an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$1.5 billion, including the assumption of approximately US$500 million of debt at closing.
Central Hudson, the main business of CH Energy Group, is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 300,000 electric and 75,000 natural gas customers in eight counties of New York State’s Mid-Hudson River Valley. As at December 31, 2012, Central Hudson accounted for approximately 93 percent of CH Energy Group’s total assets of approximately US$1.8 billion. Central Hudson accounted for approximately 95 percent of CH Energy Group’s net income in 2012, excluding the impact of acquisition-related expenses.
“Central Hudson is a well-run utility whose employees, like those throughout the Fortis federation of utilities, are committed to serving their customers and their communities,” says Stan Marshall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortis. “We welcome the employees of Central Hudson to the Fortis team, and we look forward to their contribution as we continue to meet our customers’ energy needs safely, reliably and cost effectively,” he said.“Our new association with Fortis provides substantial and lasting benefits for our customers, and the Fortis business model retains Central Hudson as a standalone company,” said Steven V. Lant, Chairman of the Board and President of CH Energy Group. “In our capital intensive and increasingly consolidating industry, becoming a member of the Fortis federation of utilities ensures we are able to effectively serve our customers now and in the future. Central Hudson’s ability to make required energy infrastructure investments, which are expected to be more than $100 million annually over the next five years, is strengthened by being a part of the Fortis federation.”