Sempra Energy Announces Agreement With Elliott and Bluescape
Sempra Energy announced that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with affiliates of Elliott Management Corporation (Elliott) and Bluescape Energy Partners LLC (Bluescape). Funds affiliated with Elliott and Bluescape collectively own a 4.9-percent economic interest in Sempra Energy valued at $1.6 billion.
As part of the agreement and the ongoing refreshment of the Sempra Energy board, the parties have worked cooperatively together to identify a discrete list of final board nominees and expect to work together for Sempra Energy to announce and appoint two new directors to Sempra Energy's board that are mutually agreed between the parties in the coming weeks.
LNG and Business Development Committee
Additionally, Sempra Energy will repurpose its board's current LNG Construction and Technology Committee into a new LNG and Business Development Committee. The new committee will consist of its three current members and, upon appointment to the Sempra Energy board, the two new directors.
The LNG and Business Development Committee's updated charter calls for it to work with management and the board in leading a comprehensive review of Sempra Energy's businesses. The charter also allows the committee to retain its own independent consultants and advisors. Sempra Energy intends to update the market on the results to date of the strategic review, including any actions to be taken, in the first quarter of 2019.
Elliott and Bluescape also have agreed to customary standstill, voting and other provisions.
"Sempra Energy is committed to an open dialogue with our shareholders and to considering all investor perspectives on the company's existing strategy and longer-term opportunities to create shareholder value," said Jeffrey W. Martin, CEO of Sempra Energy. "We are pleased to have reached a positive outcome with Elliott and Bluescape. Our management team looks forward to working with the LNG and Business Development Committee and our full board on the continued thoughtful examination of our business and capital allocation opportunities."
Jesse Cohn and Jeff Rosenbaum of Elliott issued the following statement: "This announcement is the result of a constructive dialogue with Jeff Martin, Sempra Energy's senior management team and board, and we look forward to continuing the collaborative relationship. Our interactions with the Sempra Energy team have given us confidence in their direction and ability to execute. We are confident that Jeff and his team, along with the directors who will be added to the board and the LNG and Business Development Committee's review, will lead a new era of sustainable value creation for all of Sempra Energy's stakeholders."
"Today's agreement will help create long-term value for all Sempra Energy shareholders," said John Wilder, chairman of Bluescape. "This outcome is a credit to the Sempra Energy board, and we believe the board and management are well-positioned to lead the company on this path forward."
The full cooperation agreement between Sempra Energy and Elliott and Bluescape will be filed on a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Elliott Management Corporation manages two multi-strategy investment funds which combined have approximately $35 billion of assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest funds of its kind under continuous management. The Elliott funds' investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm.
Bluescape, founded in 2007, is a private investment firm focused on value-oriented investments in the upstream oil and gas and power industries. Bluescape employs a unique approach and long-term perspective, helping position companies for growth and value creation by providing capital and strategic oversight with its multi-disciplined team of executive-level managers, operators, strategic consultants, and restructuring advisors.
About Sempra Energy
Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based energy services holding company with 2017 revenues of more than $11 billion, is the utility holding company with the largest U.S. customer base. The Sempra Energy companies' approximately 20,000 employees serve more than 40 million consumers worldwide.
This article contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Factors, among others, that could cause our actual results and future actions to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: actions and the timing of actions, including decisions, new regulations, and issuances of permits and other authorizations by the California Public Utilities Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Public Utility Commission of Texas, states, cities and counties, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the U.S. and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in timely obtaining or maintaining permits and other authorizations, risks in completing construction projects on schedule and on budget, and risks in obtaining the consent and participation of partners and counterparties; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers; denial of approvals of proposed settlements or modifications of settlements; and delays in, or disallowance or denial of, regulatory agency authorizations to recover costs in rates from customers or regulatory agency approval for projects required to enhance safety and reliability, any of which may raise our cost of capital and materially impair our ability to finance our operations; the greater degree and prevalence of wildfires in California in recent years and risk that we may be found liable for damages regardless of fault, such as in cases where the inverse condemnation doctrine applies, and risk that we may not be able to recover any such costs in rates from customers in California; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, moratoriums or limitations on the withdrawal or injection of natural gas from or into storage facilities, and equipment failures; changes in energy markets, volatility in commodity prices and moves to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas; risks posed by actions of third parties who control the operations of our investments, and risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; weather conditions, natural disasters, accidents, equipment failures, computer system outages, explosions, terrorist attacks and other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gases, radioactive materials and harmful emissions, cause wildfires and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance (including costs in excess of applicable policy limits), may be disputed by insurers or may otherwise not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of insurance, to the extent that such insurance is available or not prohibitively expensive; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; our ability to successfully execute our plan to divest certain non-utility assets within the anticipated timeframe, if at all, or that such plan may not yield the anticipated benefits; actions of activist shareholders, which could impact the market price of our common stock, preferred stock and other securities and disrupt our operations as a result of, among other things, requiring significant time and attention by management and our board of directors; capital markets and economic conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments; fluctuations in inflation, interest and currency exchange rates and our ability to effectively hedge the risk of such fluctuations; the impact of recent federal tax reform and uncertainty as to how it may be applied, and our ability to mitigate adverse impacts; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or those of our subsidiaries or to place those ratings on negative outlook and our ability to borrow at favorable interest rates; changes in foreign and domestic trade policies and laws, including border tariffs, and revisions to international trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, that make us less competitive or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong and aggressive competitors; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company's (SDG&E) electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources; the impact on competitive customer rates due to the growth in distributed and local power generation and the corresponding decrease in demand for power delivered through SDG&E's electric transmission and distribution system and from possible departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation or other forms of distributed and local power generation, and the potential risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; the ability to realize the anticipated benefits from our investment in Oncor Electric Delivery Holdings Company LLC (Oncor Holdings); Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC's (Oncor) ability to eliminate or reduce its quarterly dividends due to regulatory capital requirements, certain reductions in its senior secured credit rating, or the determination by Oncor's independent directors or a minority member director to retain such amounts to meet future requirements; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra North American Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utility, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra North American Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utility, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.