Bernhard Capita to Acquire CenterPoint Energy's Louisiana and Mississippi NG Distribution Operations

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/20/2024, Location: North America

Bernhard Capital Partners ("Bernhard Capital"), a services and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm, announced today that its portfolio company, Delta Utilities, has entered into an agreement with CenterPoint Energy, Inc. ("CenterPoint") to acquire its natural gas distribution operations in both Louisiana and Mississippi.

Currently, CenterPoint's natural gas distribution systems serve approximately 381,000 residential and commercial customers across both states.

"This agreement models Bernhard Capital's commitment to building more resilient communities through investment in critical infrastructure assets," said Jeff Jenkins, Founder and Partner at Bernhard Capital Partners. "This transaction will bring together deep expertise and leadership with many years of experience in utility operations and the invaluable institutional knowledge of those who have operated these systems for decades to benefit customers. It builds upon our recent announcement to acquire Entergy's New Orleans and Baton Rouge natural gas distribution businesses, establishing stronger, more resilient communities across the Gulf South. Once both transactions are complete, Delta Utilities will be a leading natural gas utility in Louisiana and Mississippi and among the top 40 providers in the United States."

Upon receipt of all relevant regulatory approvals and closing of the transaction, the natural gas distribution systems will be operated by Delta Utilities with an expanded operational footprint that will include several communities across Louisiana and Mississippi. Incorporating these systems into Delta Utilities' existing operational plans will bring additional scale and capacity that benefit all operations, allowing for enhanced service delivery, affordable rates for customers and additional investment into infrastructure improvements.

Additionally, all current employees of CenterPoint's Louisiana and Mississippi natural gas business units will be offered employment by Delta Utilities. The sale is expected to close toward the end of the first quarter of 2025.

Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bernhard Capital focuses on investing in companies that provide critical services to government, infrastructure, industrial, utility and energy sectors, as well as investing in utility assets. To date, Bernhard Capital has invested in over 65 services-focused companies, including several utility companies, across 19 platforms that collectively employ more than 19,000 people globally.

Jefferies LLC is serving as the lead financial advisor to Bernhard Capital, with Scotiabank also serving as a financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP serving as their legal advisor. Jefferies LLC and Scotiabank provided a debt financing commitment to Bernhard Capital in connection with the transaction.


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