Aquila sells utility operations for $1.36 billion

Aquila announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell its Canadian utility operations for CDN$1.36 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Aquila, Inc announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell its Canadian utility operations for CDN$1.36 billion (approximately US$990 million), including the assumption of debt.

According to a statement, net proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Aquila’s debt and otherwise strengthen the company’s balance sheet.

Under terms of the agreement, Aquila will sell the shares of Aquila Networks Canada (Alberta) Ltd and Aquila Networks Canada (British Columbia) Ltd to Fortis Inc, a Canadian energy company based in Newfoundland.

The transaction is subject to approval of energy regulatory commissions in Alberta and British Columbia, among other regulatory bodies, as well as other customary closing conditions. The parties expect the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2004.

‘This is a significant move forward in our plan to focus on our core utility operations in the United States,’ said Keith Stamm, Aquila’s chief operating officer.

Aquila Networks Canada operates a rural electricity distribution system servicing 380,000 customers in Alberta and a fully integrated electric utility servicing 140,000 customers in the southern interior of British Columbia.

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