RAPID CITY, S.D., Nov. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Black Hills Corp. (NYSE:BKH) today announced its subsidiary Black Hills Utility Holdings (the “Company”), the Staff of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and the Office of Consumer Counsel entered into a settlement agreement resolving the issues relating to the Company’s joint application seeking approval of the purchase of SourceGas Holdings LLC. Black Hills and SourceGas filed the joint application on Aug. 10, 2015, with the Colorado commission.
“This settlement is an important step in our regulatory approval process to acquire SourceGas,” said Linn Evans, President and COO Utilities for Black Hills Corp. “The settlement represents the agreement of the parties that the acquisition will be beneficial to customers.”
The agreement prohibits any change in customer base rates for at least three years for SourceGas Distribution customers in Colorado and two years for Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC, an intrastate pipeline. The settling parties to the agreement are conditionally prohibited from challenging the rates and revenue requirements of SourceGas in Colorado for five years after the closing of the transaction. The Company will not seek recovery of any acquisition premium from the acquired Colorado customers and will reduce annual SourceGas distribution customer charges by $200,000 per year for up to five years.
The settlement agreement is subject to approval by the Colorado commission before its terms become effective. As part of the settlement, the parties will request that the commission issue a final decision by Dec. 31, 2015.
SourceGas is a natural gas utility company serving approximately 425,000 customers in Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. Black Hills expects to complete the acquisition in the first half of 2016.
Black Hills Corporation
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE:BKH) is a growth-oriented, vertically-integrated energy company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 792,000 natural gas and electric utility customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The company also generates wholesale electricity and produces natural gas, oil and coal. Black Hills Corp.’s more than 2,000 employees form partnerships and produce positive results for our customers, communities and shareholders. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward looking statements, including the approval of the settlement agreement by the Colorado commission, the benefits for customers and the expected closing date of the acquisition of SourceGas Holdings LLC. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which we believe are reasonable based on current expectations and projections about future events and industry conditions and trends affecting our business. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that, among other things, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including the factors discussed above, the risk factors described in Item 1A of Part I of our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended by Form 10-K/A filed on August 7, 2015, Item 1A of Part II of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, and other reports that we file with the SEC from time to time.
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