TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2001 – EPCOR Utilities Inc. has reached an agreement with Westcoast Energy Inc. to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Union Energy and Westcoast Capital for $176.7 million.
The purchase will add more than 900,000 customers, primarily in Ontario, to EPCOR’s existing customer base and will make EPCOR one of the largest national providers of energy and energy related services.
Union Energy’s primary business is the rental of water heaters. Union Energy and Westcoast Capital also provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning products and servicing, financing and retail sales of natural gas. These businesses contributed $145 million in revenue to Westcoast last year. Union Energy and its 1400 employees will continue to conduct business under the Union Energy name.
“This acquisition is a critical step in EPCOR’s evolution to become one of the top three providers of energy and energy-related products in Canada,” said Brian Vaasjo, EPCOR’s Executive Vice President and President of the Energy Division. “Starting from this Ontario customer base we expect to capture 20 per cent or more of the Ontario energy market through cross- marketing our energy offers. Likewise, we may offer our customers in Alberta new products and services next year. The complementary nature of these businesses will provide us the opportunity to improve customer care and better manage costs going forward.”
“Through Union Energy and Westcoast Capital, Westcoast Energy has developed a highly valued position in the Canadian retail energy services marketplace,” said Michael Phelps, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Westcoast Energy. “This transaction provided the opportunity to realize value for those assets in order to pursue current growth opportunities in North American pipeline infrastructure development. As a result of this sale, we will book a contribution to net income of $32 million in the fourth quarter.”
“I am very excited to be associated with EPCOR,” said Vaughn Goettler, President and CEO of Union Energy. “Both organizations work to ensure a positive customer experience in all business operations. We also share a strong momentum and desire to move forward. This association is excellent for Union Energy customers and employees.”
This transaction is subject to approval by the federal Competition Bureau.
EPCOR is an Alberta-based company, headquartered in Edmonton, with over $3 billion in assets and a customer base of over 600,000. With locations in Alberta, British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, EPCOR owns and operates power plants, electrical transmission and distribution networks, builds and operates water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure, and provides power, water and natural gas to its expanding customer base. More information about EPCOR can be found on the company’s website at http://www.epcor.ca/
Westcoast Energy Inc. headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a North American energy company with assets of approximately CDN$15 billion. The company’s interests include natural gas gathering, processing, transmission, storage and distribution, as well as power generation, international energy businesses, and information technology and energy services businesses. More information is available on the company’s website at www.westcoastenergy.com.