December 18, 2003 Atlanta, GA. - SCANA Energy, a subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG) headquartered in Atlanta, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with Energy America, LLC to acquire all of the approximately 50,000 retail natural gas customers currently being served by Energy America in Georgia's deregulated natural gas market. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions including approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission, is expected to be completed by March 1, 2004. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased to have been the successful bidder for Energy America's natural gas customers in Georgia," said Kevin Marsh, SCANA's senior vice president and chief financial officer. "Based on the anticipated closing date of March 1, 2004, we expect this transaction to be financially break-even in 2004 and accretive to SCANA Energy's earnings on an annual basis thereafter. Although the total purchase price was not disclosed, it is not material to SCANA's overall financial position."
George Devlin, vice president and general manager of SCANA Energy, said he expects a smooth, uninterrupted transition for all Energy America customers once the transaction is finalized. "We are excited about the opportunity to serve these new natural gas customers and to expand our total customer base in Georgia. From a customer service perspective, we will work to ensure that these customers receive the same high quality service that our current customers in Georgia have come to expect from us. This transaction underscores our long-term commitment to this market."
Energy America, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., had announced earlier this year that it would exit the Georgia market. SCANA Energy currently has in excess of 360,000 non-regulated customers throughout Georgia. Additionally, the company's regulated division currently serves more than 43,000 low-income and high credit risk customers. With this transaction, SCANA Energy's total customer base will increase to more than 450,000, representing about a 30% share of the 1.5 million customers in Georgia's natural gas market.
SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, SC, is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations, telecommunications and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the Company's website at www.scana.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company and its management. Although SCANA Corporation believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its goals will be achieved. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and that actual results could differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) that the information is of a preliminary nature and may be subject to further and/or continuing review and adjustment, (2) changes in the utility and non-utility regulatory environment, (3) changes in the economy, especially in areas served by the Company's subsidiaries, (4) the impact of competition from other energy suppliers, including competition from alternative fuels in industrial interruptible markets, (5) growth opportunities for the Company's regulated and diversified subsidiaries, (6) the results of financing efforts, (7) changes in the Company's accounting policies, (8) weather conditions, especially in areas served by the Company's subsidiaries, (9) performance of and marketability of the Company's investments in telecommunications companies, (10) performance of the Company's pension plan assets, (11) inflation, (12) changes in environmental regulations, (13) volatility in commodity natural gas markets and (14) the other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.