UIL: Despite Crucial Deadline Passing, We Still Want to Buy PGW

Since City Council has taken no action, UIL can pull out of the deal to purchase PGW starting today. The company says it's committed to the purchase.

[UPDATE: 12:07 p.m.] Mayor Michael Nutter has issued a statement praising UIL Holdings for not backing out of the PGW sale, and essentially letting everyone know where the bottleneck is:

“This incredibly important issue is squarely in front of City Council and both the Company and our Administration have been providing voluminous amounts of information to City Council and its consultant, Concentric Energy Advisors,” Nutter said in the statement. “We eagerly await Concentric’s report and the opportunity to present our case for selling PGW to City Council and the public.

“We stand fully prepared to provide Council with any further information or analysis it might need as it conducts its vital and historic due diligence on this matter. We look forward to the introduction of the legislation and the announcement of a schedule of Council hearings. Philadelphians have an absolute right to know the basic details of the transaction and how it will impact them as consumers and also how it will affect the dedicated workforce and retirees of PGW, the fiscal impact on City government and its Pension Fund and the city’s economy.”

Full statement below:

[ORIGINAL: 9:15 a.m.] Someone had to blink, and it looks like it was UIL Holdings Corporation.

This isn’t a classic movie stand-off. But with City Council taking no action on the potential sale of PGW to UIL before today, the company can now pull out of the deal. But the company says it is committed to adding PGW to its stable of energy delivery businesses (which are currently located in Connecticut and Massachusetts).

“We have decided to continue our efforts to pursue this acquisition and become a new business partner in the City of Philadelphia,” UIL President/CEO James P. Torgerson said in a statement. “UIL remains ready to assist Council in its assessment of the sale including the essential public dialogue of what we believe is a valuable economic opportunity for the City of Philadelphia.”


What does this mean? Well, maybe City Council can extract a better sale price, or more concessions from the company buying our public utility. Maybe City Council can make James P. Torgerson do the Bristol Stomp or the Twist on Council floor. When City Council says jump, UIL Holdings says, “How high!”

Or maybe City Council will take no action and UIL will eventually pull out of the deal — it automatically terminates at the end of the year — and we’ll get some more radio ads.