Empire District exploring ‘strategic alternatives’

Empire District Electric (NYSE: EDE) confirmed Dec. 13 that it was “exploring strategic alternatives” and has retained a financial advisor to help it weigh its options.

Bloomberg had reported that the Midwestern utility is exploring a sale. Empire typically does not confirm or deny market rumors.

“However, in response to recent media reports concerning the Company and last Friday’s stock trading activity, Empire confirms that it is in the early stages of exploring strategic alternatives, and has retained a financial advisor with regard to the exploration of such strategic alternatives,” the company said. “No decision regarding the strategic alternatives has been made by the Board of Directors.”

Due to the preliminary nature of this exploration, neither the company nor any of its representatives will be providing additional comment at this time, Empire said.

“No assurances can be given that Empire’s Board of Directors will act on any specific strategic alternative. The Company does not intend to make any further press release or announcement regarding these matters unless and until there is a material change in circumstances,” Empire went on to say.

Based in Joplin, Missouri, Empire District Electric is an investor-owned, regulated utility providing electric, natural gas (through its wholly owned subsidiary, Empire District Gas Co.) and water service, with approximately 218,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. A subsidiary of the company also provides fiber optic services.

Empire owns more than 1,300 MW in generating capacity, according to its website. It owns a minority stake in a number of power plants, including a significant interest in the State Line combined-cycle gas plant.

In November, Empire conducted high-velocity steam cleaning of piping for the new Riverton combined-cycle gas plant in Kansas.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.