PPL completes purchase of U.K. electric distribution business
PPL, through a U.K. subsidiary, acquired Central Networks from E.ON UK plc for $5.7 billion in cash
Allentown, Pa., April 1, 2011 — PPL Corp. completed its previously announced acquisition of the Central Networks electricity distribution business, the second-largest such business in the United Kingdom.
PPL, through a U.K. subsidiary, acquired Central Networks from E.ON UK plc for $5.7 billion in cash, inclusive of certain permitted pre-closing adjustments, and $800 million of existing public debt to be assumed through consolidation.
To complete closing, PPL used acquisition financing under a syndicated bridge facility arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse. The permanent financing plan includes a combination of common stock, equity units and debt.
PPL expects to complete the permanent equity financing in the second quarter of 2011 and the debt financing by the end of the year.
As a result of the transaction closing, PPL has increased its 2011 earnings forecast to $2.50 to $2.75 per share, up from the prior forecast of $2.40 to $2.60 per share, excluding transaction-related costs associated with the acquisition of Central Networks.
Miller said PPL plans to maintain its common stock dividend at the current annualized level of $1.40 per share, as declared by the company's board of directors on Feb. 25, 2011.
PPL now owns and operates the largest network of electricity delivery companies in the U.K. in terms of regulated asset value, at a combined $7.8 billion. PPL Corp. companies now will be providing regulated utility services to about 10 million customers in England, Wales, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.
PPL Corp., headquartered in Allentown, Pa., owns or controls about 19,000 MW of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom.