CenterPoint Energy Signs Agreement with Continuum Energy to Acquire Retail Energy Services Business
Accretive, Strategic Acquisition Complements CenterPoint Energy’s Non-Regulated Energy Services Business
2016-01-29T06:00:00Z

​​Houston – Jan. 29, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy Services, Inc., (CES) an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP), and Continuum Energy, LLC, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Continuum Energy Services, LLC, today announced they have signed an agreement under which CES will acquire Continuum’s retail energy services business through the acquisition of Continuum Retail Energy Services, LLC, including its wholly-owned subsidiary Lakeshore Energy Services, LLC. The acquisition also includes the natural gas wholesale assets of Continuum Energy Services, LLC. The aggregate purchase price for the acquisition is $77.5 million plus working capital, subject to customary post-closing purchase price adjustments. With the addition of these businesses, CES would operate in 26 states and serve nearly 24,000 commercial and industrial customers and more than 65,000 individual Choice customers.

“Continuum has built an impressive retail energy services business, which complements our overall natural gas business strategy,” said Joe McGoldrick, executive vice president and president of CenterPoint Energy’s Gas Division. “With similar business models, customer-focus and risk management practices, this transaction positions CES to have access to more markets and efficiently grow our customer base, and we expect it to increase our total gross margin by 40 percent. This transaction is projected to be earnings per share accretive in 2016 and subsequent years.”

CES and the Continuum businesses both operate with a low value-at-risk, mitigating potential high-risk exposure to gas price and supply market fluctuations.  Their core functions are retail focused.

“We are excited about the opportunity for our retail energy services business to become part of CenterPoint Energy, a company with substantial scale and diverse markets, focused on quality customer service at competitive prices,” said Jason Few, president and chief executive officer of Continuum Energy. “This transaction allows Continuum to concentrate on growing its midstream business and solidifies an attractive business portfolio for our stakeholders as we move forward.” 

CES is part of CenterPoint Energy, an electric and natural gas energy delivery company headquartered in Houston with more than 140 years of experience in the utility and retail energy industry. Ranked among the top 20 natural gas energy services companies in the country based on volume, CES complements the company’s gas distribution business by providing gas purchase options to customers across multiple states. Combined, CES and the company’s natural gas distribution business deliver more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year or 4 percent of the country’s throughput.

In 2014, CES marketed approximately 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas and related energy services and transportation to approximately 18,000 commercial and industrial customers in 19 states. Continuum marketed nearly 300 billion cubic feet of natural gas, related energy services and transportation to nearly 6,000 commercial and industrial customers in 2014.

The acquisition includes Continuum’s:

  • ​Retail business, which includes commercial and industrial transport customers in 25 states
  • Choice customers in California, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio and Wyoming
  • Origination and logistics segment, which optimizes transport and storage capacity through its retail segment
Continuum will continue to operate its midstream, crude oil logistics and producer services businesses primarily in the Mid-Continent, Appalachia, West Texas and New Mexico and the Utica with more than 1,000 miles of gathering pipeline, 656 million cubic feet system capacity and 44,000 horsepower of compression.

Transaction Terms and Other Details​

The transaction, financed from internally generated cash flow or borrowings under CenterPoint Energy’s commercial paper programs, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, the expiration of any Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period and receipt of certain third-party consents. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies.

Wells Fargo Securities LLC acted as financial advisor to CenterPoint Energy and Baker Hostetler LLP acted as their outside legal counsel. Citi acted as financial advisor to Continuum and Winston & Strawn acted as their outside legal counsel.

CenterPoint Energy​​

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 55.4 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp.,  which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,400 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com​.

Continuum Energy

Continuum Energy is an integrated energy products and services company that serves over 500 producers and 90,000 retail customers across 25 states. The company owns and operates gathering, processing, treating, compression and transportation assets for natural gas, crude oil and NGLs. With midstream assets in key production areas throughout the United States, that includes more than 44,000 HP of compression, 1,000 miles of pipeline, rail terminal services, a transportation fleet, and marketing services, the company provides comprehensive services for both natural gas and crude oil producers.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which include the ability of the companies to receive regulatory and other approvals  and close the transaction, the ability of the CES to access markets and its footprint, customer growth and future customer count, the accretive effect of the transaction and impact on future earnings and gross margin and future operations, are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties.  Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future earnings, growth, performance, results of operations and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release. Factors that could affect actual results include (1) the ability of the parties to satisfy the conditions precedent and consummate the proposed transactions and the timing of the consummation of the proposed transactions, (2) factors related to our business and the economy, including commodity prices, (3) the performance of the companies, (4) competitive conditions in the industry, (5) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of the businesses, and (6) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, as well as in CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, June 30, 2015, and September 30, 2015, and other reports on Form 8-K CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 
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Natural gas service restoration in Paragould, Ark.

HOUSTON – December 2, 2016 – Following a natural gas outage affecting more than 400 customers on the east side of Paragould, Ark., CenterPoint Energy has restored service to all customers who have provided the company access to perform safety checks and relight pilots.  

Customers have been without gas service because of a disruption in the natural gas supply that occurred Thursday afternoon.

"We greatly appreciate our customers' cooperation and patience as our employees worked as quickly as we could to safely restore natural gas service," said Terry Rollins, district director for CenterPoint Energy.

A small number of customers still remain without service because CenterPoint Energy employees were not able to access their home or business. The relighting process requires CenterPoint Energy employees to have access to each location to light pilots and check to make sure it is safe to resume service.

"A customer needs to call us only if there is a door hanger at their home or business indicating that we've already been by to attempt to restore service," Rollins said. "Please call the number on the door tag left by our service personnel."

 

CenterPoint Energy making significant progress restoring service following natural gas outage in Paragould

HOUSTON – December 2, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy has made progress in restoring natural gas service to approximately 450 customers in Paragould, Ark. Customers have been without gas service because of a disruption in the company's gas supply which occurred yesterday afternoon.

"We called in additional employees from other parts of Arkansas which allowed us to turn off each customer's meter yesterday," said Terry Rollins, district director for CenterPoint Energy. "We are now beginning the process of going home to home to restore service to each customer."

The relighting process requires CenterPoint Energy employees to have access to each location to light pilots and check to make sure it is safe to resume service.

"We understand this is an inconvenience, but we appreciate our customers' cooperation and patience," Rollins said. "If at all possible, we'd like to ask that customers be at home since it is necessary for our employees to go inside to restore natural gas service.

"A customer needs to call us only if there is a door hanger at their home or business indicating that we've already been by to attempt to restore service. Please call the number on the door tag left by our service personnel."

For safety reasons, the company urges customers not to turn any valves or tamper with the natural gas meter. Opening or turning any valves could allow air to enter the natural gas lines, which would hinder the re-pressurization process.

"We estimate that all customers who are home will have service restored by this evening," Rollins said.

For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts.

CenterPoint Energy reports natural gas outage for customers in Paragould, Arkansas

Houston – December 1, 2016 - CenterPoint Energy is experiencing a natural gas outage on the east side of Paragould, Arkansas that is affecting about 450 customers.

"Safety is our number one priority as we work to restore natural gas service," said Terry Rollins, district director for CenterPoint Energy. "As part of our procedure, we have begun the process this afternoon of turning off each customer's natural gas meter; our goal is to have each meter turned off by later this evening.

"We will then work to ensure that the natural gas distribution lines are clear of air. Once the lines are clear, our certified service technicians will begin performing a series of safety checks to ensure there is no risk involved in restoring gas service," Rollins added. "To perform these inspections, CenterPoint Energy service technicians will need to enter each home or business; we expect this process to begin tomorrow morning and continue throughout the day tomorrow. We have also brought in technicians from other parts of the state to assist in restoring gas service."

"There is no need to call us as we make our initial assessments," Rollins said. "We anticipate restoring service to most customers by end of day tomorrow. At this time, no action is required on the part of the customer. If an adult over age 18 is not at the service address when a technician arrives, the company will leave a door hanger with instructions."

For safety reasons, the company urges customers not to turn any valves or tamper with the natural gas meter. Opening or turning any valves could allow air to enter the natural gas lines, which would hinder the restoration process.

For updates, follow CenterPoint Energy on Twitter: @CNPAlerts.

CenterPoint Energy issues important cold weather safety tips

HOUSTON – November 30, 2016 – As the temperatures drop, CenterPoint Energy reminds natural gas customers of some important tips to stay safe and warm this season.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating, and any fuel-burning appliance in the home has the potential to produce CO. To prevent CO buildup:

  • Have your heating system checked annually by a qualified heating and air conditioning technician.
  • Follow manufacturers' operating instructions properly for gas heating equipment.
  • Do not use stovetop burners or ovens to heat a room since they are not designed for this use.
  • Make sure to follow the blue flame rule. Natural gas flames should burn blue except natural gas fireplace logs which burn orange to have a more realistic wood burning look.
  • Crack windows slightly if using unvented space heaters.
  • Consider buying a CO detector as another line of defense against CO poisoning. CenterPoint Energy recommends buying one with an audible alarm and continuous digital display; make sure it is tested to the national standard for residential CO detectors (UL2034 or IAS NO. 6-96).

 If you are in a room with operating gas equipment and experience a headache, followed by dizziness and nausea, you may be experiencing CO poisoning. Get fresh air immediately, and call CenterPoint Energy. For more information on natural gas safety, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Safety.

CenterPoint Energy joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement

​​HOUSTON, TX – November 29, 2016 – CenterPoint Energy has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Today, more than 800 gifts will be collected for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program in advance of the Christmas holiday in the company’s Houston region, and approximately 350 gifts are expected to be collected in Minnesota next week.

Since 1889, the Salvation Army has provided Christmas assistance to disadvantaged families and individuals to ensure that they have a wonderful holiday season. CenterPoint Energy has been a long-time supporter of the program, collecting more than 4,200 donations over the past seven years, helping to provide a merry Christmas for more than 4,000 families in the Greater Houston area. 
 
“We are so excited to once again participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program,” said Diane Englet, senior director of Community Relations for CenterPoint Energy. “This cause brings so much joy and excitement to our employees. Every year they look forward to receiving their Angel Tree tags and have continued to increase the number they request. It truly is a heartwarming sight to see the smiles on their faces as they bring in their gifts on collection day!”

Because of the generosity of employees throughout CenterPoint Energy’s service territory, countless other organizations have received financial and volunteer support over the years. Last year, CenterPoint Energy partnered with local blood drives to donate a total of 4,830 pints of blood, which is the equivalent of saving more than 14,000 lives.  

“With more than 203,000 hours of volunteer service provided by employees in 2015, valued by the Independent Sector at $4.7 million, CenterPoint Energy has been able to offer support for organizations that do so much for so many, throughout the company’s service territory,” added Englet.  

To learn more about what CenterPoint Energy is doing in your community, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/Community. 

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give—the 2016 iteration will be held on November 29, 2016. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners—nonprofits, businesses and corporations as well as families and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global moment dedicated to giving around the world. 

​To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:



​View an infographic about CenterPoint Energy's contribution to #GivingTuesday here​.


CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 55.4 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp.,  which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.