ATLANTA Southern Company (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Southern Company Gas, a natural gas marketing business in Georgia, has signed a letter of intent to negotiate the sale of its assets in Georgia to a soon to be formed gas affiliate of Cobb Electric Membership Corporation. Cobb EMC is an electric cooperative serving more than 185,000 customers.
Cobb EMC is currently preparing to seek certification from the Georgia Public Service Commission to become a licensed marketer in the competitive Georgia natural gas market. The proposed sale is subject to the negotiation of a definitive sale agreement and receipt of necessary regulatory or governmental approvals.
Southern Company Gas provides natural gas to approximately 170,000 residential and commercial customers, which represents a 12.5 percent share of the Georgia market.
Since we launched Southern Company Gas in 2002, we have enhanced its customer service record, and the pricing options and services available to customers, said David Ratcliffe, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company. We also have made it profitable and have improved the quality of its customer base. As a result, we have received unsolicited offers from gas marketers to buy the company in recent months. It just makes sense for us to explore our options at this time.
Our focus, since day one, has been on the relationship we have with each and every customer, said Ron Bertasi, president and CEO of Southern Company Gas. In that vein, we intend to make this transaction totally seamless for our customers. They will continue to get the same great customer service from us through this transition period, and we are confident that this tradition will be continued after the sale.
Dwight Brown, Cobb EMC president and CEO, states, We have provided reliable electric service for over 60 years, with a reputation for excellence in customer service. Its also our goal for Southern Companys customers to experience no change in levels of service.
Formed in 1938, Cobb Electric Membership Corporation is an electric membership cooperative serving over 185,000 customers in Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding, Bartow, Fulton, Randolph, Calhoun, Quitman and Clay Counties.
With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been ranked the nations top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index five years in a row. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at www.southerncompany.com.