Announcement marks significant step in process of selling City-owned utility.
Philadelphia, April 24, 2013 –Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Philadelphia Gas Works CEO Craig White announced that J.P. Morgan Securities and Loop Capital Markets will serve as the City’s sales brokers for the potential sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW).
The firms will manage the sale process toward a potential sale on a contingency fee basis, meaning they will be paid only if the sale of PGW is completed and approved by City Council and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).
“J.P. Morgan and Loop Capital Markets not only bring outstanding credentials to this assignment, both companies have demonstrated a strong commitment to the City of Philadelphia and PGW,” said Mayor Nutter. “In the past, J.P. Morgan and Loop Capital have participated in bond financings that have enabled the City and PGW to fund capital investments and better serve residents and businesses. As I have said from the outset, the only sale outcome acceptable to me is one that benefits taxpayers and customers.”
The process of selecting a broker involved weighing factors such as knowledge of the utility sector, mergers and acquisition experience, including successfully completing utility sales, and track records representing Philadelphia and other cities in public finance. The team of J.P. Morgan and Loop Capital stood out on all of these factors.
J.P. Morgan is a leader in municipal finance and utility transaction advisory work. Since 2000, J.P. Morgan has advised on 15 gas utility transactions representing over $20 billion of transaction value. The company is a leading advisor in global and U.S. mergers and acquisitions. J.P. Morgan has supported small businesses throughout Pennsylvania, extending $124 million in credit to these businesses and raising more than $852 million in financing for Pennsylvania governments and non-profit organizations in 2012.
Loop Capital is a minority-owned investment banking firm and leader in public finance. It is an active advisor on mergers and acquisitions, public private partnerships and financings for public and investor owned companies in the Infrastructure, Power, Utility, Energy sectors. Since its inception in 1997, Loop Capital has co-senior managed or co-managed more than $6.4 billion in municipal bond financings for the City.
Both firms maintain corporate offices in Philadelphia.
“We are proud to have been selected to serve with Loop Capital as brokers for this historic transaction. We anticipate robust interest from companies wanting to buy PGW and we intend to use our knowledge, skill and experience to attract a compelling offer that meets the objectives of the City and its constituents” said Paul Dabbar, Managing Director in J.P. Morgan’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Group, who will lead the broker team.
“Mayor Nutter has been specific about his commitment to the citizens of Philadelphia to consummate a sale only if it benefits the City. Our sales process will be designed to first maximize interest from qualified and suitable potential buyers and then to present the City with an offer that meets all objectives,” said Thomas R. Rosén and Derek McNeil, Managing Directors of Loop Capital.
Over the next several months, the brokers will identify and solicit qualified bidders, review responses from those bidders and provide analysis and guidance on the bids to the City and PGW. Based on a preliminary analysis by its financial advisor in the transaction, Lazard, the City believes it can obtain bids well in excess of PGW’s outstanding bonds and other liabilities while reducing future risk to the City’s General Fund, bringing benefits to both taxpayers and customers.
“Finalizing the selection of a broker is another planned step in this process,” said Craig White, President and CEO of Philadelphia Gas Works. “We look forward to J. P. Morgan and Loop Capital completing their work in a timely fashion.”
Philadelphia is one of only two major cities in the U.S. that still own their gas companies. San Antonio is the other.
Founded in 1836, PGW is the nation’s largest municipally-owned gas utility, serving more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Read more about the sales process at www.exploringasale.com.