Cleco Corporate Holdings gains final approval to acquire South Central Generating
PINEVILLE, La. – Today, Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC (Cleco) received a vote from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) authorizing Cleco to acquire NRG South Central Generating LLC (South Central), a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG). This is the last regulatory approval needed to finalize the transaction. Previous approvals include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT) and Federal Trade Commission.
“We appreciate the confidence the LPSC and other regulatory entities have given this transaction through their thorough review and approval process,” said Bill Fontenot, Cleco president and CEO. “Their support confirms our belief that this transaction is the best path for Cleco, our customers, Louisiana cooperatives, communities and the state of Louisiana.”
Under the terms of the $1.0 billion agreement, which is expected to close in February 2019, Cleco Cajun LLC (Cleco Cajun), an unregulated subsidiary of Cleco, will acquire eight generating assets totaling 3,555 MW, transmission operations and contracts to provide wholesale power to nine Louisiana cooperatives, five municipalities across Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and one investor-owned utility. Seven of the generation assets will be managed by Cleco while the Cottonwood plant in Texas will be temporarily leased back to NRG for operation.
Cleco Cajun and Cleco Power remain separate businesses, independently operated and managed by local management teams in Louisiana.
The transaction significantly increases the scale of Cleco’s operations in Louisiana by more than doubling its generating capacity and increasing the number of end-user customers by 77 percent.
The transaction enables enhanced customer service through the sharing of operational expertise and management best practices.
Electricity rates for Cleco Cajun and Cleco Power customers are not impacted.
Employment levels, employee compensation levels and employee benefits are maintained for Cleco Cajun, Cleco Power and Cleco employees.
“This investment advances our growth strategy and positions Cleco to achieve our vision of becoming Louisiana’s leading energy company,” said Fontenot.