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El Paso Electric shareholders…

Shareholders of El Paso Electric Co. overwhelmingly voted at a special meeting Thursday to approve the sale of the utility to an infrastructure fund of J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.

“Of the shares voted, approximately 99.61 percent voted to approve and adopt the agreement,” said utility company spokesman Javier Camacho.

The two firms have previously disclosed the acquisition as a $2.79 billion all-cash deal that will also include debt.

That $1.2 billion of bond debt led Moody’s Investors Services earlier this week to slightly downgrade El Paso Electric’s credit rating, but the move will not impact the sale.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of next year, still needs regulatory approvals.

Reuters recently reported that infrastructure funds have increasingly been investing in utility companies, drawn by the power industry’s steady rates of returns in a generally low-risk environment.

El Paso Electric currently serves 428,000 customers in Texas and New Mexico.

KVIA 2019

KVIA ABC-7

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