Cleco Buyout Rejected

By Phillip Boudreaux | pboudreaux@kadn.com

Published 02/25 2016 01:42PM

Updated 02/26 2016 09:06AM

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has unanimously rejected a buyout deal for Cleco.

An Australian Investing Group, Macquarie had intended to buy Cleco out for almost 5 billion.

The deal was highly criticized by Alliance for Affordable Energy.

The group said the buyout would raise prices for customers while costing the state revenue.

Chairman of Commission Clyde Holloway believes the sale was not in the public’s best interest.

“Cleco is a very respected company and I think they will still be a respected company but I’m just elated with today’s decision.” said Holloway.

The Alliance for Affordable Energy issued a statement following the vote.

"We are thrilled and relieved that the Commissioners have upheld their duty to protect ratepayers. Today’s decision hinged in large part on charges to customers for state and federal taxes that the company never intended to pay, as well as complicated leveraged debt schemes. As a result, dockets are being opened to examine this issue, as a matter of general policy, to ensure no utility regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission is engaging in similar practices."

"The Alliance stands with the Commission in their efforts to protect customers from risks and overcharges. We believe today’s ruling could have long-term positive effects."

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