KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 23, 2002 — Aquila Inc. announced recently that it is eliminating approximately 200 positions from its Merchant Services and Corporate staffs. Aquila also will reduce 500 positions by early July with completion of the previously announced restructuring of its Networks business.
Nearly 150 of recently’s reductions affect employees working in Aquila’s two downtown Kansas City offices; the remaining positions are in locations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
“Our success over the past five years is a result of the talent and dedication of many of the people affected by recently’s news,” said Robert K. Green, president and chief executive officer of Aquila. “This is a difficult decision but one that had to be made to ensure Aquila is able to compete in recently’s more stringent financial markets and operating environment.”
The push to improve the company’s credit rating to BBB+/Baa1 is a major focus for Aquila and was initiated late last year and is identified as Project BBB+/Baa1. “While our credit metrics are the strongest in the company’s history and among the best in the industry, we clearly understand credit agencies have raised the threshold,” said Green. “We’ve already identified $100 million in costs and will identify more, as well as sell at least $500 million in non-core, non-strategic assets.”
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Aquila (formerly UtiliCorp United) is an international energy and risk management company. Aquila is one of the largest wholesalers of electricity and natural gas in North America, provides wholesale energy services in the United Kingdom and has a presence in Germany and Scandinavia.
It also operates electricity and natural gas distribution networks serving more than 6 million customers in seven states and in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. At March 31, 2002, Aquila had total assets of $12.3 billion and 12-month sales of $37.3 billion. More information is available at www.aquila.com.