FOLSOM — South Jersey Industries said Thursday it has agreed to be purchased for $8.1 billion by the New York-based Infrastructure Investments Fund, a private investment group, which will pay $36 per SJI share in cash.
SJI is the parent company of SJI Utilities, including South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas; and SJI Energy Enterprises, which covers non-utility operations primarily focused on clean energy development and renewable energy.
The per share purchase price represents a 46.3% premium, based on a 30-day average as of Wednesday, the last trading day prior to the announcement, according to an SJI news release Thursday.
“IIF is a trusted partner and long-term investor in utility and renewable energy companies, and together we will be well positioned to execute on SJI’s clean energy and decarbonization initiatives in support of the environmental goals of our State and region,” said Mike Renna, SJI president and CEO, who will retain his position.
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Upon completion, SJI’s shares will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and SJI will become a private company, the release said.
The transaction was unanimously approved by SJI’s Board of Directors, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. The deal is subject to the approval of SJI’s shareholders, and regulatory approvals from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and other closing conditions, SJI said.
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As a private company, SJI will have additional resources to modernize critical infrastructure, maintain customer service and reasonable rates, and further enhance the safety, reliability and sustainability of the business, Renna said.
SJI serves more than 700,000 families and businesses and has a workforce of 1,100 employees.
“We believe our expertise, resources and experience can help SJI further build on its leading position in the industry,” said Andrew Gilbert, investment principal to IIF.
SJI will remain locally managed and operated with headquarters in Folsom, and the current management team will continue to lead SJI, Gilbert said.
Dividends payable to SJI shareholders will continue until the closing, subject to approval by SJI’s Board of Directors.
For more information, visit investors.sjindustries.com/home/default.aspx.
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The Infrastructure Investments Fund calls itself a $20 billion private investment vehicle focused on investing in critical infrastructure assets.
IIF’s portfolio of companies serves more than 10 million customers and employs more than 10,000 people from local communities, according to SJI.
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