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Anchorage, cooperative finalize terms of $1B utility sale

October 1, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage and the Chugach Electric Association have worked out the terms for the $1 billion deal for Chugach to buy the city-owned electric utility.

City attorney Rebecca Windt-Pearson said Anchorage and the electric cooperative have been negotiating the nuances of the deal for Municipal Light and Power since voters authorized the sale in April, the Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.

Windt-Pearson told the city assembly last week that the deal took this long to finalize because it’s “an enormously complicated transaction.” But the city was happy with the progress and wanted to give ample time for the public to review it, she said.

The deal has largely stayed the same to what was proposed to voters earlier this year, said Lee Thibert, the CEO of the association.

“From a customer perspective, the deal is still the same,” Thibert said.

Portions of the sale revenue will pay down Municipal Light and Power’s debt, replace lost taxes over time and fill the city trust fund, according to the terms of the agreement. The association has also agreed to pay a little more up front — about $768 million — to make it more secure for bondholders, Thibert said.

“We’ve done our due diligence,” Thibert said. “This is still a good deal for ratepayers, a good deal for taxpayers.”

No employees of the utility will be laid off, and the base electricity rates will not go up as a result of the transaction, according to the agreement.

The deal will go before the Anchorage Assembly for approval. It also requires approval from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

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

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