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May 20, 2024

CMP parent company may go private in deal with Spanish energy giant Iberdrola

Central Maine Power and its parent company, Avangrid Inc. (NYSE: AGR), may soon be under the total control of privately owned energy giant Iberdrola S.A.

The Bilbao, Spain-based company is already the majority stockholder in Avangrid, and now has struck a deal to acquire the remaining 18.4% of issued, outstanding common stock shares, according to a news release Friday afternoon.

Iberdrola, one of the world's largest electricity companies, would pay a total of $2.6 billion under the agreement — $35.75 per share — in an all-cash transaction.

The transaction would close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions including approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the New York Public Service Commission.

Avangrid said the purchase price represents an 11.4% premium over the closing price of its stock on March 6, the last unaffected trading day before the company's announcement of Iberdrola’s unsolicited offer.

CMP distributes power to 635,000 Maine customers, mostly in the central and southern regions of the state, and is its largest electric utility.

Headquartered in Orange, Conn., Avangrid owns and operates CMP and seven other electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Including its renewable energy businesses, Avangrid has operations in 24 states and employs 8,000 people.

CMP's ownership has at times been a contentious public topic, especially during an unsuccessful referendum attempt that would have called for the state to take over the investor-owned utility, along with Versant Power.

After news of the buyout attempt was announced early Friday afternoon, Avangrid's share price dropped 5% to $35.72. Late Monday morning, trading was around 10 cents higher. Avangrid has a market capitalization of nearly $14 billion.

Avangrid President and CEO Pedro Azagra said, “We are excited about Iberdrola’s continued investment in Avangrid and commitment to the United States.

"As a wholly owned member of the Iberdrola Group, we will continue to serve our customers and build our renewable energy assets work to achieve our vision to lead the clean energy transition with a strong commitment to sustainability, community, governance and our employees.”

Attempts to reach CMP for comment were not immediately successful.

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