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EVANSVILLE, Ind., Aug. 28, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shareholders of Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC) today approved the merger of CenterPoint Energy and Vectren Corporation during a special shareholders meeting held to conduct a vote on matters relating to the proposed merger. The proposal to approve the merger was supported by 61.6 percent of Vectren Corporation’s outstanding common shares entitled to vote, or more than 95 percent of the shares voted. Also approved was the non-binding advisory proposal regarding compensation for the Company’s named executive officers in connection with the merger.
Final consummation of the merger is subject to various conditions, including approvals, clearances or orders from various regulators. Clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and approval of the Federal Communications Commission for the transfer of control of radio licenses held by the company’s subsidiaries have already been received. While neither Indiana nor Ohio has approval authority over the merger, informational proceedings with regulators in both states have been initiated, and the Indiana Regulatory Commission (IURC) has set a schedule for the review of information voluntarily submitted by the companies related to the merger, including a hearing on October 17, 2018. A hearing before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is not expected. A filing has also been made with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the merger. That filing is still pending and no parties have intervened in the proceeding.
Subject to receipt of remaining approvals, the company continues to anticipate that the closing of the merger will occur no later than the first quarter of 2019.
Vectren Corporation (NYSE: VVC) is an energy holding company headquartered in Evansville, Ind. Vectren’s energy delivery subsidiaries provide gas and/or electricity to more than 1 million customers in adjoining service territories that cover nearly two-thirds of Indiana and about 20 percent of Ohio, primarily in the west-central area. Vectren’s nonutility subsidiaries and affiliates currently offer energy-related products and services to customers throughout the U.S. through Infrastructure Services and Energy Services. To learn more about Vectren, visit www.vectren.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
The statements in this document contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this document are forward-looking statements made in good faith by us and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this document, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “objective,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “projection,” “should,” “target,” “will” or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to: (1) CenterPoint Energy’s proposed acquisition of Vectren, (2) regulatory approvals, (3) the completion of the proposed transaction, (4) benefits of the proposed transaction, (5) integration plans and expected synergies, (6) the expected timing of completion of the transaction, and (7) anticipated future financial measures and operating performance and results, including estimates for growth and other matters affecting future operations.
Risks Related to the Merger
Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to:
(1) the risk that CenterPoint Energy or Vectren may be unable to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals required for the proposed transaction, or that required governmental and regulatory approvals or agreements with other parties interested therein may delay the proposed transaction or may be subject to or impose adverse conditions or costs, (2) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the proposed transaction or could otherwise cause the failure of the proposed transaction to close, (3) the risk that a condition to the closing of the proposed transaction or the committed financing may not be satisfied, (4) the failure to obtain, or to obtain on favorable terms, any equity, debt or other financing necessary to complete or permanently finance the proposed transaction and the costs of such financing, (5) the outcome of any legal proceedings, regulatory proceedings or enforcement matters that may be instituted relating to the proposed transaction, (6) the receipt of an unsolicited offer from another party to acquire assets or capital stock of Vectren that could interfere with the proposed transaction, (7) the timing to consummate the proposed transaction, (8) the costs incurred to consummate the proposed transaction, (9) the possibility that the expected cost savings, synergies or other value creation from the proposed transaction will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period, (10) the risk that the companies may not realize fair values from properties that may be required to be sold in connection with the merger, (11) the credit ratings of the companies following the proposed transaction, (12) disruption from the proposed transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees, regulators or suppliers, and (13) the diversion of management time and attention on the proposed transaction.
Risks Related to CenterPoint Energy
Important factors related to CenterPoint Energy, its affiliates, and its and their operations that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to:
(1) the performance of Enable Midstream Partners, LP (Enable), the amount of cash distributions CenterPoint Energy receives from Enable, Enable's ability to redeem the Series A Preferred Units in certain circumstances and the value of CenterPoint Energy's interest in Enable, and factors that may have a material impact on such performance, cash distributions and value, including factors such as: (A) competitive conditions in the midstream industry, and actions taken by Enable's customers and competitors, including the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Enable; (B) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas and associated commodity prices, particularly prices of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs), the competitive effects of the available pipeline capacity in the regions served by Enable, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects of these circumstances on re-contracting available capacity on Enable's interstate pipelines; (C) the demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGLs and transportation and storage services; (D) environmental and other governmental regulations, including the availability of drilling permits and the regulation of hydraulic fracturing; (E) recording of non-cash goodwill, long-lived asset or other than temporary impairment charges by or related to Enable; (F) changes in tax status; (G) access to debt and equity capital; and (H) the availability and prices of raw materials and services for current and future construction projects; (2) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy's service territories and changes in market demand, including the effects of energy efficiency measures and demographic patterns; (3) timely and appropriate rate actions that allow recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (4) future economic conditions in regional and national markets and their effect on sales, prices and costs; (5) weather variations and other natural phenomena, including the impact of severe weather events on operations and capital; (6) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's businesses, including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline integrity and safety and changes in regulation and legislation pertaining to trade, health care, finance and actions regarding the rates charged by our regulated businesses; (7) tax reform and legislation, including the effects of the comprehensive tax reform legislation informally referred to as the TCJA and uncertainties involving state commissions' and local municipalities' regulatory requirements and determinations regarding the treatment of excess deferred taxes and CenterPoint Energy's rates; (8) CenterPoint Energy's ability to mitigate weather impacts through normalization or rate mechanisms, and the effectiveness of such mechanisms; (9) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials; (10) problems with regulatory approval, construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (11) local, state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including those related to global climate change; (12) the impact of unplanned facility outages; (13) any direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy's facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber-attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt CenterPoint Energy's businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, leaks, floods, droughts, hurricanes, pandemic health events or other occurrences; (14) CenterPoint Energy's ability to invest planned capital and the timely recovery of CenterPoint Energy's investment in capital; (15) CenterPoint Energy's ability to control operation and maintenance costs; (16) actions by credit rating agencies; (17) the sufficiency of CenterPoint Energy's insurance coverage, including availability, cost, coverage and terms; (18) the investment performance of CenterPoint Energy's pension and postretirement benefit plans; (19) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy's access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of CenterPoint Energy's financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (20) changes in interest rates and their impact on CenterPoint Energy's costs of borrowing and the valuation of its pension benefit obligation; (21) changes in rates of inflation; (22) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations to CenterPoint Energy; (23) non-payment for CenterPoint Energy's services due to financial distress of its customers; (24) the extent and effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy's risk management and hedging activities, including, but not limited to, its financial and weather hedges; (25) timely and appropriate regulatory actions allowing securitization for any future hurricanes or natural disasters or other recovery of costs, including costs associated with Hurricane Harvey; (26) CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's potential business strategies and strategic initiatives, including restructurings, joint ventures and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses (including a reduction of CenterPoint Energy's interests in Enable, whether through its decision to sell all or a portion of the Enable common units it owns in the public equity markets or otherwise, subject to certain limitations), which CenterPoint Energy cannot assure will be completed or will have the anticipated benefits to it or Enable; (27) acquisition and merger activities involving CenterPoint Energy or its competitors; (28) CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's ability to recruit, effectively transition and retain management and key employees and maintain good labor relations; (29) the ability of GenOn Energy, Inc. (formerly known as RRI Energy, Inc., Reliant Energy and RRI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG), and its subsidiaries, currently the subject of bankruptcy proceedings, to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy, including indemnity obligations; (30) the outcome of litigation; (31) the ability of retail electric providers (REPs), including REP affiliates of NRG and Vistra Energy Corp., formerly known as TCEH Corp., to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (32) changes in technology, particularly with respect to efficient battery storage or the emergence or growth of new, developing or alternative sources of generation; (33) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes and other proceedings related to taxes; (34) the effective tax rates; and (35) the effect of changes in and application of accounting standards and pronouncements.
Risks Related to Vectren
Important factors related to Vectren, its affiliates, and its and their operations that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to:
(1) factors affecting utility operations such as unfavorable or unusual weather conditions; catastrophic weather-related damage; unusual maintenance or repairs; unanticipated changes to coal and natural gas costs; unanticipated changes to gas transportation and storage costs, or availability due to higher demand, shortages, transportation problems or other developments; environmental or pipeline incidents; transmission or distribution incidents; unanticipated changes to electric energy supply costs, or availability due to demand, shortages, transmission problems or other developments; or electric transmission or gas pipeline system constraints, (2) new or proposed legislation, litigation and government regulation or other actions, such as changes in, rescission of or additions to tax laws or rates, pipeline safety regulation and environmental laws and regulations, including laws governing air emissions, carbon, waste water discharges and the handling and disposal of coal combustion residuals that could impact the continued operation, and/or cost recovery of generation plant costs and related assets; compliance with respect to these regulations could substantially change the operation and nature of Vectren’s utility operations, (3) catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, terrorist acts, or physical attacks could adversely affect Vectren's facilities, operations, financial condition, results of operations, and reputation, (4) cyber attacks or similar occurrences may adversely affect the Company's facilities, operations, corporate reputation, financial condition, and results of operations, (5) approval and timely recovery of new capital investments related to the electric generation transition plan, including timely approval to build and own generation, ability to meet capacity requirements, ability to procure resources needed to build new generation at a reasonable cost, ability to appropriately estimate costs of new generation, the effects of construction delays and cost overruns, ability to fully recover the investments made in retiring portions of the current generation fleet, scarcity of resources and labor, and workforce retention, development and training, (6) increased competition in the energy industry, including the effects of industry restructuring, unbundling, and other sources of energy, (7) regulatory factors such as uncertainty surrounding the composition of state regulatory commissions, adverse regulatory changes, unanticipated changes in rate-setting policies or procedures, recovery of investments and costs made under regulation, interpretation of regulatory-related legislation by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and/or Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and appellate courts that review decisions issued by the agencies, and the frequency and timing of rate increases, (8) financial, regulatory or accounting principles or policies imposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board; the SEC; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; state public utility commissions; state entities which regulate electric and natural gas transmission and distribution, natural gas gathering and processing, electric power supply; and similar entities with regulatory oversight, (9) economic conditions including the effects of inflation, commodity prices, and monetary fluctuations, (10) economic conditions, including increased potential for lower levels of economic activity; uncertainty regarding energy prices and the capital and commodity markets; volatile changes in the demand for natural gas, electricity, and other nonutility products and services; economic impacts of changes in business strategy on both gas and electric large customers; lower residential and commercial customer counts; variance from normal population growth and changes in customer mix; higher operating expenses; and reductions in the value of investments, (11) volatile natural gas and coal commodity prices and the potential impact on customer consumption, uncollectible accounts expense, unaccounted for gas and interest expense, (12) volatile oil prices and the potential impact on customer consumption and price of other fuel commodities, (13) direct or indirect effects on Vectren’s business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations resulting from changes in credit ratings, changes in interest rates, and/or changes in market perceptions of the utility industry and other energy-related industries, (14) the performance of projects undertaken by Vectren’s nonutility businesses and the success of efforts to realize value from, invest in and develop new opportunities, including but not limited to, Vectren Infrastructure Services Company, Vectren Energy Services Company, and remaining ProLiance Holdings, LLC assets, (15) factors affecting Infrastructure Services, including the level of success in bidding contracts; fluctuations in volume and mix of contracted work; mix of projects received under blanket contracts; unanticipated cost increases in completion of the contracted work; funding requirements associated with multiemployer pension and benefit plans; changes in legislation and regulations impacting the industries in which the customers served operate; the effects of weather; failure to properly estimate the cost to construct projects; the ability to attract and retain qualified employees in a fast growing market where skills are critical; cancellation and/or reductions in the scope of projects by customers; credit worthiness of customers; ability to obtain materials and equipment required to perform services; and changing market conditions, including changes in the market prices of oil and natural gas that would affect the demand for infrastructure construction, (16) factors affecting Energy Services, including unanticipated cost increases in completion of the contracted work; changes in legislation and regulations impacting the industries in which the customers served operate; changes in economic influences impacting customers served; failure to properly estimate the cost to construct projects; risks associated with projects owned or operated; failure to appropriately design, construct, or operate projects; the ability to attract and retain qualified employees; cancellation and/or reductions in the scope of projects by customers; changes in the timing of being awarded projects; credit worthiness of customers; lower energy prices negatively impacting the economics of performance contracting business; and changing market conditions, (17) employee or contractor workforce factors including changes in key executives, key business personnel, collective bargaining agreements with union employees, aging workforce issues, work stoppages, or pandemic illness, (18) risks associated with material business transactions such as acquisitions and divestitures, including, without limitation, legal and regulatory delays; the related time and costs of implementing such transactions; integrating operations as part of these transactions; and possible failures to achieve expected gains, revenue growth and/or expense savings from such transactions, and (19) costs, fines, penalties and other effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations, claims, including, but not limited to, such matters involving compliance with federal and state laws and interpretations of these laws.
The foregoing list of factors is not all-inclusive because it is not possible to predict all factors, and any and all differences between the risk factors under the headings “Risks Related to CenterPoint Energy” or “Risks Related to Vectren,” except where context dictates otherwise, are not intended to be, and should not be read as, a representation, warranty, statement, affirmation or acknowledgment of any kind by CenterPoint Energy, Vectren or their respective affiliates that any risk factors present under one heading, but absent under the other, are not potential risk factors for CenterPoint Energy or Vectren, or their respective affiliates, as applicable. Furthermore, it may not be possible to assess the impact of any such factor on CenterPoint Energy’s or Vectren’s respective businesses or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Additional risks and uncertainties will be discussed in other materials that CenterPoint Energy and Vectren will file with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in CenterPoint Energy’s and Vectren’s annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC, but any specific factors that may be provided should not be construed as exhaustive. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement. While we believe these forward-looking statements to be reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will approximate actual experience or that the expectations derived from them will be realized. Further, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.