SD Public Utilities Commission rules on NorthWestern sale

Sioux Falls, SD, Dec. 13, 2006 — NorthWestern Corp. announced that the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (SDPUC) has determined that current state law does not allow them to exercise jurisdiction over the proposed sale of NorthWestern to Babcock and Brown Infrastructure Ltd (BBIL).

In June, NorthWestern and BBIL filed a petition for declaratory ruling and for transaction approval if the SDPUC determined it had jurisdiction over the sale. In reaching their decision, commissioners cited their authority for continuing regulatory oversight and the terms of a federal settlement agreement with NorthWestern as sufficient regulatory tools to oversee the Company’s operations.

BBIL and NorthWestern have received the necessary approvals from the Department of Justice, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Nebraska Public Service Commission. NorthWestern had received shareholder approval of the transaction in August. In October, NorthWestern and BBIL had reached a stipulated agreement with the SDPUC to withdraw its opposition to the approval of the sale in the FERC proceeding. The Montana Public Service Commission is expected to conduct a hearing on the transaction in March 2007.

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