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ST. JOHN'S, June 23 /CNW/ - Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) announced today that it is filing a preliminary prospectus with securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces of Canada in connection with the offering and sale to the public (the "Offering") of senior unsecured debentures of the Corporation (the "Debentures"). The Offering will be made through a syndicate of agents co-led by BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and CIBC World Markets Inc. (collectively, the "Agents").
The Corporation expects to enter into an agency agreement with the Agents prior to filing its final prospectus in respect of the Offering, which agreement will set forth the terms of the Offering, including the size of the Offering, the annual interest rate payable in respect of the Debentures and the maturity date of the Debentures.
The net proceeds of the Offering will be used to repay in full the indebtedness outstanding under the Corporation's credit facility and for general corporate purposes.
The Offering is subject to the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. The Debentures will not be listed on any stock exchange.
The Debentures will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This media release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
Fortis is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. With total assets approaching $12 billion and annual revenues totalling $3.9 billion, the Corporation serves more than 2,000,000 gas and electricity customers. Its regulated holdings include electric distribution utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries and a natural gas utility in British Columbia. Fortis owns non-regulated generation assets across Canada and in Belize and Upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate in Canada. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
Fortis includes forward-looking information in this media release within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada ("forward-looking information"). The purpose of the forward-looking information is to provide management's expectations regarding the Corporation's future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities and may not be appropriate for other purposes. All forward-looking information is given pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words "anticipates", "believes", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "will", "would" and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words. The forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on information currently available to the Corporation's management. The forward-looking information in this media release includes the Corporation's expectation of entering into an agency agreement with the Agents prior to filing its final prospectus in respect of the Offering and the Corporation's expected use of the net proceeds from the Offering. The forecasts and projections that make up the forward-looking information are based on assumptions which include, but are not limited to: the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and requested rate orders; no significant operational disruptions or environmental liability due to a catastrophic event or environmental upset caused by severe weather, other acts of nature or other major event; the continued ability to maintain the gas and electricity systems to ensure their continued performance; no significant decline in capital spending in 2009; no severe and prolonged downturn in economic conditions; sufficient liquidity and capital resources; the continuation of regulator-approved mechanisms to flow through the commodity cost of natural gas and energy supply costs in customer rates; the continued ability to hedge exposures to fluctuations in interest rates, foreign exchange rates and natural gas commodity prices; no significant variability in interest rates; no significant counterparty defaults; the continued competitiveness of natural gas pricing when compared with electricity and other alternative sources of energy; the continued availability of natural gas supply; the continued ability to fund defined benefit pension plans; the absence of significant changes in government energy plans and environmental laws that may materially affect the operations and cash flows of the Corporation and its subsidiaries; maintenance of adequate insurance coverage; the ability to obtain and maintain licences and permits; retention of existing service areas; no material decrease in market energy sales prices; favourable relations with First Nations; favourable labour relations; and sufficient human resources to deliver service and execute the capital program. The forward-looking information is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or results anticipated by the forward-looking information. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current expectations include, but are not limited to: regulatory risk; operating and maintenance risks; economic conditions; capital resources and liquidity risk; weather and seasonality; an ultimate resolution of the expropriation of the assets of the Exploits River Hydro Partnership that differs from what is currently expected by management; commodity price risk; derivative financial instruments and hedging; interest rate risk; counterparty risk; competitiveness of natural gas; natural gas supply; defined benefit pension plan performance and funding requirements; risks related to the development of the Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc. franchise; the Government of British Columbia's Energy Plan; environmental risks; insurance coverage risk; an unexpected outcome of legal proceedings currently against the Corporation; licences and permits; loss of service area; market energy sales prices; transition to International Financial Reporting Standards; changes in tax legislation; First Nations' lands; labour relations; and human resources. For additional information with respect to the Corporation's risk factors and risk factors relating to the Debentures, reference should be made to the Corporation's preliminary short form prospectus dated June 23, 2009 and the continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and to the heading "Business Risk Management" in the Management Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2009 and for the year ended December 31, 2008.
All forward-looking information in this media release is qualified in its entirety by the above cautionary statements and, except as required by law, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking information as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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