Atlanta-based Southern Company on Monday it plans to sell Gulf Power, which serves almost half a million people across Northwest Florida, from the Alabama border, to the Apalachicola River, to the Gulf coast, to NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power & Light.
NextEra will also purchase gas utility Florida City Gas and its interests in the Oleander and Stanton natural gas plants from Southern as part of the deal.
Southern said the $6.5 billion deal would benefit its stockholders, “while entrusting the customers of these exceptional franchises to a high-quality utility company that has a well-established presence in the state.”
“This sale provides Southern Company the opportunity to deliver great value to our organization, bolster our financial profile and continue to build the future of energy as one of America’s premier energy companies,” said Thomas Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company.
Along with Gulf Power, the Southern Company owns many subsidiaries including Alabama Power, Georgia Power and Mississippi Power.
The company is building the first nuclear power plant in the United States in decades and the transaction proceeds will cut growing debt.
The deal is expected to be complete by the first half of 2019, contingent on approval from federal regulators.