Inside INdiana Business

Hoosier utility contractor to be sold

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — An Indianapolis-based natural gas distribution, transmission pipeline and utility contractor will soon be under new ownership. Texas-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) has announced plans to offload Miller Pipeline, along with another subsidiary, in a deal valued at $850 million.

CenterPoint is selling Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited, collectively known as “MVerge,” to Georgia-based PowerTeam Services LLC. Miller Pipeline employs more than 3,500 people.

Doug Banning, currently the chief executive officer of MVerge, will continue to oversee both companies once the deal is complete.

“This is an exciting development for everyone at Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited,” Banning said. “PowerTeam shares our goal of being the best in the industry and recognizes the talent that our organization brings. By combining two industry leaders, we believe our employees and customers will see significant benefits.”

CenterPoint says it will use the net proceeds of the sale to repay a portion of its outstanding debt. President and CEO Scott Prochazka said he believes PowerTeam will position the businesses for long-term success.

“The sale is a key achievement in our ongoing strategic focus to strengthen our balance sheet and improve our business risk profile and earnings quality pursuant to increased relative contribution of our core utility businesses,” Prochazka said in a news release. “Post transaction, we expect our utility earnings contribution to increase to greater than 80% over the next few years.”  

The sale is expected to be completed in the second quarter, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

CenterPoint is also the parent of Evansville-based Vectren.