HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Calpine Corporation (NYSE:CPN) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Noble Americas Energy Solutions, LLC (NAES), the nation’s largest independent supplier of power to commercial and industrial retail customers, for a purchase price of $800 million plus an estimated $100 million of net working capital at closing. Calpine expects to recover approximately $200 million through collateral synergies and the runoff of acquired legacy hedges, substantially within the first year, resulting in expected net cash deployed of approximately $700 million (including working capital), or approximately five times NAES’ recent and expected run-rate Adjusted EBITDA.
“In addition to expanding our retail customer sales channels and product offerings, we will more than double the volume of retail load we are capable of serving across the country from our complementary wholesale power generation fleet.”
“We are excited to be acquiring the best commercial and industrial direct energy sales platform in the U.S. The acquisition of this well-regarded organization known for providing sophisticated customers with highly customized products is a natural fit with Calpine’s customer-centric culture and will allow us to build upon the success we have experienced since our entry into retail last year through the Champion Energy platform,” said Thad Hill, Calpine’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to expanding our retail customer sales channels and product offerings, we will more than double the volume of retail load we are capable of serving across the country from our complementary wholesale power generation fleet.
“Financially, this transaction is highly cash flow and credit accretive, given a rapidly amortizing bridge loan, the achievement of collateral synergies and the ongoing generation of stable and substantial cash flows,” concluded Hill. “In addition to delivering strong annual cash flow, the strong sales effort by the NAES team has continued to build the mark-to-market value of their book over the last several years, which will help ensure future success of the business. We look forward to welcoming the entire NAES team to the Calpine family.”
NAES currently serves commercial and industrial customers in 18 states nationwide, including California, Texas, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, where Calpine’s wholesale power generation fleet is primarily concentrated. The organization will remain headquartered in San Diego and will continue to operate under the leadership of Jim Wood, President of NAES.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Calpine team,” said Wood. “Our customers should know that we will continue to provide the same high level of services and product offerings during the ownership transition and, when under the Calpine banner, we expect to provide even greater value-added products and services.”
Funding and Credit Support
Calpine expects to fund the acquisition with a combination of cash on hand and temporary bridge loan financing of up to $550 million. The company intends to repay the bridge facility during 2017 with proceeds from announced asset sales as well as cash from operations, including that generated from the anticipated collateral synergies.
Under Calpine ownership, anticipated collateral needs are expected to be met with approximately $240 million in letters of credit and $20 million of surety bonds, leaving almost $1.2 billion of Calpine Corporate Revolver capacity remaining at closing.
Approvals and Time to Close
Calpine will acquire the business from Noble Americas Gas & Power Corp., a subsidiary of Noble Group Ltd. The transaction is expected to close by year end 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, approval by shareholders of Noble Group Ltd., approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and antitrust review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.
Calpine Corporation is America’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources. Our fleet of 84 power plants in operation or under construction represents more than 27,000 megawatts of generation capacity. Serving customers in 20 states and Canada, we specialize in developing, constructing, owning and operating natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants that use advanced technologies to generate power in a low-carbon and environmentally responsible manner. Our clean, efficient, modern and flexible fleet is uniquely positioned to benefit from the secular trends affecting our industry, including the abundant and affordable supply of clean natural gas, stricter environmental regulation, aging power generation infrastructure and the increasing need for dispatchable power plants to successfully integrate intermittent renewables into the grid. We focus on competitive wholesale power markets and advocate for market-driven solutions that result in nondiscriminatory forward price signals for investors. Please visit www.calpine.com to learn more about why Calpine is a generation ahead – today.
In addition to historical information, this release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Words such as “believe,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “estimate,” “potential,” “project” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among others, those concerning expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that a number of risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Please see the risks identified in this release or in Calpine’s reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the risk factors identified in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015 and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended June 30, 2016. These filings are available by visiting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov or Calpine’s website at www.calpine.com. Given the risks and uncertainties surrounding forward-looking statements, you should not place undue reliance on these statements. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. Actual results or developments may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, and, other than as required by law, Calpine undertakes no obligation to update any such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.