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PPL finalizes sale of U.K. utility business

Stacy Wescoe//June 14, 2021

PPL finalizes sale of U.K. utility business

Stacy Wescoe//June 14, 2021

PPL Corp. is now officially out of the U.K. power business.

The Allentown company announced this morning that it has completed the sale of its U.K. utility business, Western Power Distribution, to National Grid for $10.7 billion.

It is the first of two transactions PPL announced in March with the goal of becoming a U.S.-focused company.

“Today’s sale recognizes the economic value that PPL created by advancing WPD into the premier collection of electricity distribution networks in the U.K., a company that year after year delivered operational excellence, superior customer satisfaction and innovative solutions to advance a cleaner energy future,” said Vincent Sorgi, PPL president and CEO.

Its second initiative is the planned acquisition of Narragansett Electric Co., Rhode Island’s primary electric and gas utility.

PPL said the $3.8 billion acquisition remains on track to close in March 2022 and both companies have submitted all regulatory filings necessary for the acquisition’s approval.

“Together, the sale of WPD and the acquisition of Narragansett Electric will better position PPL for long-term growth and success by simplifying our business mix, strengthening our credit metrics, improving our prospects for long-term earnings growth, and providing us greater financial flexibility to invest in sustainable energy solutions,” said Sorgi.

With the $6.6 billion left over from the deal, the company said it intends to “further strengthen its balance sheet and enhance opportunities for growth.”

It plans to reduce outstanding debt by approximately $3 billion to $3.5 billion and said it will “continue to evaluate the best use of the remaining proceeds to maximize shareowner value.” This includes potentially investing incremental capital at PPL’s utilities or in renewables, and repurchasing shares.

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