September 21 (Renewables Now) - Consolidated Edison Inc (NYSE:ED), or Con Edison, said Thursday it has entered into an agreement to acquire a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) that holds 981 MW of operating renewable power plants in the US.
The transaction was agreed at a purchase price of USD 1.54 billion (EUR 1.31bn), which takes into consideration USD 576 million of existing project debt. It is expected to close near the end of 2018, subject to receiving certain nods, including from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the US Department of Energy.
In addition to assets that are fully owned by Sempra, the deal involves its 379-MW share of projects that the company owns jointly with Con Edison subsidiaries. It also concerns some development rights for additional solar and energy storage projects. Together, these assets are seen to increase Con Edison’s own utility-scale renewables to about 2,600 MW.
“With completion of this acquisition, we expect to be the second largest owner of solar electric production projects in North America,” commented John McAvoy, chairman and CEO of Con Edison.
The newly-purchased assets are located in Nevada, Arizona, California and Nebraska -- states in which Con Edison already has projects -- and in some cases adjacent to existing Con Edison developments. This creates opportunities for value-enhancing synergies, noted Mark Noyes, president and CEO of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses Inc.
Con Edison said it plans to finance the transaction with a mix of USD 715 million of equity and USD 825 million of long-term, non-recourse debt. Citi served as lead financial advisor to the buyer and has also provided committed bridge financing.
Assuming that the acquisition is wrapped up this year, Con Edison estimates that it will add USD 0.50 per share to GAAP earnings in 2018, be dilutive by USD 0.25 and USD 0.15 apiece in 2019 and 2020, respectively, and accretive thereafter. The company reaffirmed its prior guidance for 2018 adjusted earnings per share of between USD 4.15 and USD 4.35.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.848)