The acquisition of UPPCO is consistent with BBIP Investors’ strategy to invest in the key essential infrastructure sectors of energy, transportation and utilities in North America and Western Europe. The transaction was announced at the signing of definitive documentation in January of 2014 and was approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission on June 6, 2014 and by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on August 20, 2014.
UPPCO is a regulated electric utility business that provides distribution and power supply services to approximately 52,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. UPPCO was formed in 1947 through the merger of three small utilities (one of which dated back to 1884) and was acquired by Integrys in 1998.
Rob Gregor, Managing Partner of BBIP, stated:
The completion of the acquisition of UPPCO is an important landmark for BBIP, representing BBIP Investors’ entrance into the North American utility markets. For UPPCO, its customers, and stakeholders, it will be business as usual. The company’s headquarters will be relocated to Michigan and, on behalf of our investors, we are committed to maintaining safe and reliable customer service, and investing in the company and the communities UPPCO serves.
Jeff Neil, who heads the North American unit for BBIP, commented:
We are excited by this important acquisition and underline our investors’ commitment to providing UPPCO with the capital necessary to maintain and improve its existing energy delivery infrastructure. To achieve the objective of providing safe, reliable and affordable power in the Upper Peninsula and the strategy of network renewal and enhancement, a senior management team has been established. This senior team will be based in the Upper Peninsula and brings substantial experience in managing utilities in the Upper Midwest as well as substantial experience in the power generation sector.
Under the terms of the agreement, BBIP Investors are acquiring UPPCO’s electricity distribution and generation operations, excluding its American Transmission Company holdings. To help ensure a smooth and seamless transition, Integrys will provide certain transition services to UPPCO.
Rothschild Inc. serves as financial advisor for this transaction, and Baker & McKenzie LLP serves as the legal advisors. The Bank of Nova Scotia and RBC Capital Markets are jointly providing structuring and placement advice together with financing for the transaction.