UPPCO purchase complete

MARQUETTE – Upper Peninsula Power Co. officials said Thursday the sale of the utility to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners, announced earlier this year, had been completed.

UPPCO was sold to the Balfour infrastructure equity investment fund by Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group, returning UPPCO to its original status as a Michigan-headquartered energy provider.

Under terms of the sales agreement announced in January, the purchase price was about $298.8 million for UPPCO’s electricity distribution operations, excluding its American Transmission Co. holdings.

UPPCO’s assets include seven hydroelectric generation facilities, 3,300 miles of electric distribution lines and 58 distribution substations.

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Partners is an infrastructure equity investment fund, focusing on investments in energy, utilities and transport infrastructure in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The fund has offices in New York and London.

No changes were expected for UPPCO customers as a result of the sale.

UPPCO said the leaders of the utility will include CEO Barbara Siehr, CFO Steve Manz and Chief Operating Officer Keith Moyle.

“Our new leadership team is proud to be part of a tradition of delivering safe, reliable power to the many customers we are privileged to serve,” Siehr said in a news release. “Together with our team of very talented and dedicated employees we look forward to building a new Upper Peninsula Power Company. We will also continue to be involved in the communities we serve.”

Siehr and Manz are new to UPPCO and jointly bring more than 50 years of utility and energy experience to the company.

Siehr is a native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, who has held leadership positions in operations, finance and information technology for companies – regulated and unregulated – including the Wisconsin Power and Light Co. and Alliant Energy Corp.

She most recently was managing partner and founder of the energy consulting firm, Siehr Strategic Partners, her UPPCO bio said.

Manz is from Windsor, Ontario, and has served as president CFO for numerous publicly traded corporations in the mining industry and has been involved in permitting and development of power generation. He has consulted on numerous power and industrial developments, according to a bio provided by UPPCO.

Moyle, a Calumet native, has been with UPPCO since 2006, when he became general manager of the utility.

“Upper Peninsula Power Company has a rich history,” Moyle said. “We will continue our dedication to customer service and process improvements to help reduce costs.

“UPPCO will also continue to keep environmentally friendly energy in our generation mix including our hydroelectric projects that provide clean, renewable power and offer recreational opportunities to the public as well as contribute to the tax base. UPPCO will also keep up its ongoing communications with policymakers about the unique challenges and issues we face operating as a regulated utility in the Upper Peninsula.”

The Upper Peninsula Power Company was incorporated in 1947 through a merger involving three smaller electric companies: the Houghton County Electric Light Co., the Copper District Power Co. and the Iron Range Light and Power Co.

UPPCO has 123 employees and serves roughly 52,000 electric retail customers. Its service territory measures 4,460 square miles and covers 10 counties in the U.P.

The utility was acquired by Integrys in 1998.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.