CenterPoint Energy Inc. has agreed to sell two subsidiaries, including Indianapolis-based Miller Pipeline, for $850 million to infrastructure services provider PowerTeam Services LLC, the companies announced Monday.
Houston-based CenterPoint acquired Miller Pipeline, which employs more than 3,500 people, when it purchased Evansville-based gas and electric utility Vectren Corp. in early 2019.
In addition to Miller Pipeline, Atlanta-based PowerTeam will receive Big Lake, Minnesota-based Minnesota Limited, which CenterPoint also acquired in the Vectren deal. Minnesota Limited has more than 1,400 employees.
Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited are two of the county’s leading natural gas distribution and transmission pipeline contractors, providing services to customers in 35 states. The two companies are collectively known as MVerge.
The deal is expected close in this year’s second quarter. CenterPoint said it will use proceeds from the sale to extinguish outstanding debt.
“The sale is a key achievement in our ongoing strategic focus to strengthen our balance sheet and improve our business risk profile and earnings quality pursuant to increased relative contribution of our core utility businesses,” said CenterPoint CEO Scott Prochazka in written remarks. “With PowerTeam, we believe we have found the right company to continue growing the businesses of Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited and position them for long-term success.”
Doug Banning, CEO of MVerge, will continue to oversee Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited at PowerTeam, which provides infrastructure services to the natural gas and electric industries across 20 states.
Miller Pipeline was founded in Ohio in 1953 but moved to Indianapolis in 1961 after installing pipeline for the then-new town of Clermont. Miller stayed in the area with Citizens Energy Group as a major client.
The company has been owned by several utility companies over the years, including NiSource, which acquired it in 1997.
Miller Pipeline was sold to Reliant Services LLC, a joint venture between Cinergy (now Duke Energy) and Vectren, for $68 million in 2000. Vectren took over sole ownership in 2006 by acquiring Duke’s interest in the company.
Under Vectren, Miller has grown significantly by acquiring numerous contractors around the country and taking advantage of the shale-oil fracking boom.