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Southern Company to sell Gulf Power

Logo courtesy Gulf Power.

Southern Company is selling off its Northwest Florida division.

The company announced Monday, it's selling Gulf Power to NextEra Energy.

The $6.475 billion deal includes Florida City Gas and interests in Plant Oleander and Plant Stanton, both in Central Florida. NextEra will also assume $1.4 billion of Gulf Power debt.

Thomas A. Fanning, president and CEO of Southern Company said, "These Florida businesses are being sold at a price that provides substantial value to our stockholders, while entrusting the customers of these exceptional franchises to a high-quality utility company that has a well-established presence in the state."

NextEra Energy is based in Juno Beach, Florida, and serves communities in 32 states and 4 Canadian provinces. The company owns Florida Power & Light, which provides power to five million customers along Florida's Atlantic Coast and in the Sarasota and Fort Myers areas.

Jim Robo, chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy said, "Following the financing of the transactions and as a result of expanding our regulated operations, we expect to continue to maintain $5 billion to $7 billion of excess balance sheet capacity with which to further support our long-term growth. We are raising our 2020 and 2021 adjusted earnings per share expectations by $0.15 and $0.20, respectively, upon closing and will be disappointed if we are not able to deliver financial results at or near the top end of these revised ranges."

A spokesperson for Gulf Power, Jeff Rogers, said, "We want our customers to know that our people will continue to be focused on serving our customers who are our friends, family and neighbors and serving our communities in Northwest Florida."

The target completion for the sales of Gulf Power and Southern Power's interests in Plant Stanton and Plant Oleander is the first half of 2019. The Florida City Gas transaction's target completion is third quarter 2018.

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