Xcel Energy announces improved liquidity position

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Jan. 23, 2003 — Xcel Energy has increased its liquidity at the holding company to about $300 million following completion of a new $100 million, nine-month term loan facility and the closing of the sale of Viking Gas Transmission Company.

“At this time we have no need to draw on the facility, but it provides us flexibility and an additional source of liquidity, should we need it,” said Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy vice president and treasurer. “With the approximately $200 million of cash currently on hand at the holding company this will give us near-term liquidity of about $300 million. As we move forward throughout the year, we expect our cash position should continue to improve.”

The facility, provided by King Street Capital and an affiliate of Perry Capital, carries a 9 percent per annum coupon rate and fees for early termination and extensions within the nine-month period. Perry and King Street are existing investors in the company. Specific terms are disclosed in the credit agreement filed with the SEC as an exhibit to a Form 8-K.

“We remain hopeful that the uncertainty regarding NRG Energy will be resolved within the timeframe of this facility,” said Fowke. “When that happens we will consider other financing structures. Until that time, we think it’s in Xcel Energy’s best interest not to enter into longer-term transactions. We currently have pending before the SEC an application to increase our ability to issue securities.”

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