NiSource (NYSE: NI) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, Blackstone’s (NYSE:BX) dedicated Infrastructure group, to acquire a 19.9% equity interest in NIPSCO for US$2.150 billion. The transaction implies an equity value of US$10.8 billion and enterprise value of US$14.3 billion for 100% of NIPSCO. Upon closing of the transaction, which is expected by the end of 2023, NIPSCO will retain an 80.1% stake in NIPSCO and continue to operate NIPSCO. Blackstone Infrastructure Partners will receive minority rights commensurate with its 19.9% equity interest. As part of the transaction, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners is committed to funding its pro rata share of ongoing capital requirements, which is supported by a US$250 million equity commitment letter.
Blackstone Infrastructure Partners is an active investor across the utility, energy transition, transportation, digital infrastructure, water and waste infrastructure sectors. Blackstone Infrastructure Partners seeks to apply a long-term buy-and-hold approach to large-scale infrastructure assets and is focused on responsible stewardship and stakeholder engagement to create value for its investors and the communities it serves.
NIPSCO is Indiana’s largest vertically-integrated electric and gas distribution company, providing critical utility service to almost 1.3 million customers in an economically robust service territory. NIPSCO is at the forefront of the energy transition and is developing one of the lowest-cost portfolios of renewable energy projects, the majority of which are utility-owned, and intends to retire all coal-fired generation by the end of 2028. The capital infusion will be used to support NiSource’s fastest growing utility and its ability to serve customers, de-lever its balance sheet and fund ongoing capital needs associated with the renewable generation transition underway.
Latham & Watkins LLP represents Blackstone in the transaction with a corporate deal team led by Houston/New York partner Ravi Purohit and New York partner David Allinson, with associates Michael Spirtos, Cody Conwell, and Manu Vadlamudi. Advice was also provided on tax matters by Bay Area partner Katharine Moir, with associate Christine Mainguy; on finance matters by New York partner Stephanie Teicher and Los Angeles partner Nathan Whitaker, with associate Jacob Sikora; on benefits and compensation matters by Chicago partner Benjamin Rosemergy, with associates Samantha Voutyras and Kevin Matheny; on labor and employment matters by New York counsel Sandra Benjamin; on federal energy regulatory matters by Washington, D.C. partner Tyler Brown, with associate Richard Griffin; on intellectual property matters by Washington, D.C. counsel Kieran Dickinson, with associate Kellye Quirk; on environmental matters by New York counsel David Langer, with associate Brittany Curcuru; on real estate matters by San Diego partner Robert Frances and San Diego counsel Aaron Friberg, with associate Will Swanson; on antitrust matters by Washington, D.C. partner Farrell Malone and Washington, D.C. counsel Britton Davis, with associate Ethan Hoffman; on litigation matters by Orange County partner Kristin Murphy, with associates Kehaulani Jai, Helen Kirkby, and Scott Levinson; and on representation and warranty insurance matters by Los Angeles partner Drew Levin, with associate Harrison White.