Company That Tried to Purchase PGW Is Itself Sold

UIL says deal came after Philly sale broke down, but City Council is asking questions.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

UIL Holdings, the Connecticut company that last year attempted to buy PGW from the city, has itself been sold to a Spanish firm.

UIL officials said the $3 billion deal with Iberdrola materialized only after the PGW sale fell through. But the timing of the deal raised questions at City Council, and Council President Darrell Clarke suggested the move vindicated Council’s concerns about selling to PGW. Council let the proposed sale of PGW to UIL collapse last year without ever holding a hearing — or vote — before a deadline for the deal’s completion.

KYW’s Mike Dunn reports on Darrell Clarke’s view of the UIL sale:

“We were obviously concerned about the potential of a resale of this property and this asset. And it seems like our concerns about the re-sale were, in fact, valid.”

Clarke now wants to know if UIL officials were negotiating to sell the company at the same time they were trying to buy PGW:

“Being sold to a company that’s not even in the United States causes us some significant concerns. So we want to know what did they know leading up to this decision, and how much of this was actually taking place during the course of their attempted purchase of PGW.”

A spokesman for Mayor Nutter said his administration had been unaware of any pending UIL sale during the attempted PGW transaction. Company officials said Iberdrola showed interested only after the PGW sale fell through.

A hearing on Philadelphia’s energy future will be held by council on March 5.