Minnesota Electric Cooperatives, Advised by Dykema, Complete Deal, Make History

Monday, August 3, 2015 - 14:53

The 12-member cooperatives of Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (SMEC) made history with the completion of the acquisition of Alliant Energy’s electric service territory in southern Minnesota. As a result, all southern Minnesota customers of Alliant Energy are now member-owners of their respective electric cooperative. Leading national law firm Dykema represented SMEC in the acquisition of Alliant's territory. 

“Opportunities to acquire investor-owned utility territory are rare enough,” said Brian Krambeer, president and CEO of Tri-County Electric Cooperative. “It is the first time, to our knowledge, that so many electric cooperatives have come together to acquire new service territory."

Krambeer chairs the executive committee of SMEC, formed by 12 participating electric cooperatives in 2013 to serve as the single point of contact for the purchase of the Minnesota territory from Alliant Energy. The service territories of Alliant Energy and the 12 cooperatives overlap, serving mostly rural areas in the southern portion of Minnesota. This acquisition transfers approximately 43,000 electric accounts to electric cooperatives. The more than two-year process of acquiring the territory involved receiving approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Iowa Utilities Board and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“We are excited that so many new member-owners will now be able to enjoy professional, reliable service from electric cooperatives that have been serving these communities for more than 70 years,” Krambeer added. “All of the participating electric cooperatives have worked with exceptional diligence over the last two years to assure a smooth transition. We are ready to welcome our new member-owners.”

The 12 SMEC member cooperatives are BENCO Electric Cooperative, Brown County Rural Electrical Association, Federated Rural Electric, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative, Nobles Cooperative Electric, People’s Energy Cooperative, Redwood Electric Cooperative, Sioux Valley Energy, South Central Electric Association, Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric, and Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

Dykema's deal team consisted of Jeffrey Dalebroux, Corporate Finance, member, Chicago; Steve Grob, Tax, member, Detroit; Mark Weisbard, Business Services, member, Chicago; Melvin Muskovitz, Labor & Employment, senior counsel, Chicago; Mark Jacobs, Environmental, member, Detroit;  Mike Sexton, Real Estate, member, Chicago; Alexis Schostak, Business Services, member, Bloomfield Hills; Greg Wright, Corporate Finance, senior attorney, Chicago; Susan Lee, Litigation, associate, Chicago.

 

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