NextEra Energy on Sept. 29 said that its subsidiary, NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC, has entered into definitive agreements with affiliates of Blackstone to acquire GridLiance Holdco, LP and GridLiance GP, LLC for about $660m, including the assumption of debt, with a portion of the net proceeds from NextEra Energy’s recent equity units issuance to be used to finance the transaction.
NextEra Energy Chairman and CEO Jim Robo said in the statement, in part, ”This acquisition furthers our goal of creating America’s leading competitive transmission company and is consistent with our strategy of adding high-quality regulated assets to our portfolio.”
GridLiance President and CEO Calvin Crowder, in GridLiance’s Sept. 29 statement on the matter, said, in part, that GridLiance is excited to join “NextEra Energy Transmission at a pivotal time in the company’s development.”
As noted in that statement, GridLiance — which was founded in 2014 by affiliates of Blackstone Energy Partners — today owns and operates more than 700 miles of transmission lines and related substation infrastructure across six states, with a presence in the California ISO, Southwest Power Pool, and Midcontinent ISO regions.
As noted on its website, GridLiance has long-term co-development agreements in place with municipalities, joint action agencies, and electric cooperatives operating in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and is negotiating new arrangements with utilities in several other states.
The transaction requires approval from the FERC, utility regulators in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, as well as expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, NextEra said, adding that assuming timely regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in 2021.
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as financial advisor, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP served as counsel to NextEra Energy Transmission, NextEra noted. GridLiance said that Goldman Sachs and Kirkland & Ellis served as its financial advisor and counsel.