Investment fund buys out El Paso Electric co.


El Paso Electric Co. is being acquired by a utility-focused equity fund in a deal totaling more than $4 billion, the companies announced this week.

Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) is acquiring the utility for $68.25 per share in a cash transaction. The IIF was advised by an infrastructure investment group within J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.

El Paso Electric CEO Mary Kipp said that IIF’s long-term experience in utility investment and power generation is the “ideal partner” for the region and the company.

“This agreement demonstrates that IIF values local job retention and growth; creating a sustainable path to enhance our renewable energy resources and protecting the environment; and treating our 1,100 employees, their families and our customers with transparency and respect,” Kipp said. “Our partnership brings value to everyone; our customers, shareholders, our employees and community. This is a tremendous opportunity to scale and prepare the Company for a clean energy future that is local and sustainable.”

The offer by IIF includes commitments to keep both union, non-union and management employees in place. El Paso Electric will continue as an independently operated, regulated utility, according to the plan. Enterprise value on the transaction is estimated at $4.3 billion.

Customers will receive a total $21 million in bill credits over three years. And the two parties will create a community economic sustainability fund to invest $100 million over two decades to fund growth and economic development in the utility’s service area.

El Paso Electric provides generation, transmission and distribution to about 430,000 retail and wholesale customers within the Rio Grande Valley of west Texas and southern New Mexico. Its generation mix include natural gas, solar and energy storage.

IIF is an $11.3 billion private investment fund that includes ownership interests in 11 energy, utility and electric generation companies.

A similar version of this story first appeared on our sister-site, Electric Light & Power.