An investment fund of Macquarie Group Ltd. (ASX: MQG) is leading a consortium of investors in a $4.7 billion acquisition of utility supplier Cleco Corp. (NYSE: CNL).
The investor group includes Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, as well as British Columbia Investment Management Corp. (BCIM) and John Hancock Financial, a division of Canadian insurance company and financial services provider Manulife Financial Corp. (NYSE: MFC).
Darren Olagues, president of Cleco subsidiary Cleco Power LLC, is set to replace Bruce Williamson as president and chief executive once the deal closes.
The transaction comes months after Cleco began entertaining acquisition offers in June. A month later the electicity supplier reported lower than expected earnings for the second quarter.
The target is expected to continue doing business as an independent company after the deal wraps up, as well as keep its headquarters in Pineville, Louisiana.
Goldman Sachs & Co. (NYSE: GS) and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. each advised Cleco throughout the sale process. Law firm Locke Lord LLP handled legal matters.
Macquarie tapped Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal counsel, while BCIM hired Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. The Skadden team was led by Washington D.C.-based partners William Conway and Pankaj Sinha, along with counsel Anthony Saldana and associate Valarie Ney.
The acquisition is the first for Macquarie Infrastructure in 2014. The fund last invested in the Tecamec and Coacalco Power Centers of Fondo Comercial Mexicano, an owner and operator of commercial properties, for $150.3 million in late 2013.