Folsom-based South Jersey Industries, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by the Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF), a private investment vehicle focused on investing in critical infrastructure assets. IIF will purchase SJI for $36.00 per share in cash, reflecting a value of approximately $8.1 billion.
“As energy markets across the US and New Jersey accelerate the transition toward low carbon and renewable energy, the SJI Board determined that now is the opportune time to join forces with IIF,” said Mike Renna, president and CEO, SJI. “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.
“In addition, as a private company and with IIF’s support, we will have additional resources to continue to modernize our critical infrastructure, maintain our high standard of customer service at reasonable rates, and further enhance the safety, reliability and sustainability of our businesses.”
Renna continued, “This transaction is a testament to the achievements of our employees, and we are pleased that IIF recognizes the strength of our workforce and culture and shares our commitment to supporting the communities we serve. I would like to thank each of our employees for all they do each day to contribute to the success of SJI. I look forward to building on our strong foundation together.”
Following the close of the transaction, SJI will remain locally managed and operated with headquarters in Folsom. Renna will continue as chief executive officer and the current management team will continue to lead SJI.
IIF’s long-term approach to investing in utility and infrastructure assets is directly aligned with SJI’s mission to “build a better today and tomorrow” for the more than 700,000 families and businesses SJI serves, while continuing to support its 1,100-employee workforce and the communities in which SJI operates.
Andrew Gilbert, investment principal to IIF, said, “SJI’s long track record of investing in sustainability and clean energy initiatives has translated into a clear competitive advantage. We believe our expertise, resources and experience can help SJI further build on its leading position in the industry. We have great respect for SJI’s talented team and look forward to partnering with them to safely provide clean and reliable energy to the communities of New Jersey.”
The transaction was unanimously approved by SJI’s board of directors and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to the approval of SJI’s shareholders, the receipt of regulatory approvals, including by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and other customary closing conditions.
BofA Securities is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as legal advisor to SJI. Centerview Partners is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as legal advisor to IIF. In addition, IIF has a committed bridge financing facility in place led by KeyBanc Capital Markets and PNC Capital Markets to support the transaction.
IIF is an approximately $20 billion private investment vehicle focused on investing in critical infrastructure assets. It is responsible for investing and growing the retirement funds of more than 60 million families. Additionally, its portfolio of companies serves over 10 million customers and employs over 10,000 people from local communities.
The company is headquartered in New York with additional offices in London, and is advised by a dedicated infrastructure investment group within J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.
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