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Anchorage Assembly approves $1B sale of city-owned utility

December 7, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Assembly has signed off on a $1 billion deal for Chugach Electric Association to buy the city-owned electric utility.

The city officials unanimously approved the sale of Municipal Light and Power on Tuesday, sending the deal to the next step — gaining approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reported .

The parties plan to file with the commission by the end of January, said Julie Hasquet, Chugach Electric’s director of corporate communications. It could take six months or longer to get the deal approved.

“It will be a significant filing with a lot of material the RCA will need and want to see,” Hasquet said.

Anchorage voters approved the deal in April. The transaction is not expected to cause layoffs or increase base electric rates, city and utility officials have said.

Under the deal, Chugach Electric will pay $768 million up front and then make annual payments to the city lasting decades.

The city plans to use part of the money to pay down the utility’s debt, replace lost tax revenue and fill a city trust fund.

Selling the utility aims to strengthen the city’s financial position and provide unified electric service throughout the Anchorage area, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said in a statement.

“A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen,” Berkowitz said.

An asset purchase agreement and other documents are expected to be signed later this month after the auditing of Municipal Light and Power’s financial statements is completed.

“It’s been a lot of work to get here, but we know we have another big job in front of us before the RCA,” Hasquet said.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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