Hawaiian Electric to be sold for $2.63 billion to Florida company

American Savings Bank will be sold off as an independent public company

Ikaika M Hussey

NextEra Energy, a Florida-based energy firm, has agreed to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) for $2.63 billion in cash and stock, Bloomberg is reporting. American Savings Bank, a sibling company to HEI, will be sold off as part of the sale.

In addition to the cash and stock, NextEra is taking on an additional $1.7 billion in HEI debt to complete the transaction, bringing the total cost of the deal to $4.3 billion.

This isn’t the first time NextEra has expressed an interest in Hawaii’s energy market. Earlier this year NextEra Energy Hawaii, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, submitted comments (PDF) to the Public Utilities Commission supporting an undersea power cable to transmit electricity from Maui to Oahu.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. stock traded today near a 52-week high, at $28.19. HEI has a market capitalization of $2.891 billion.

While it will retain it’s Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) name, HEI’s flagship energy subsidiary will become the third subsidiary of NextEra Energy, along with Florida Power & Light Co. and NextEra Energy Resources LLC. Maui and Hawaii Electric Companies will continue to be managed independently.

American Savings Bank will be spun off as an independent publicly-traded corporation, with HEI shareholders receiving a proportional amount of American Savings Bank stock.

The companies have set up a website, www.forhawaiisfuture.com, with information on the deal.

The stock market is responding positively to the sale announcement, with HE shares climbing above $32 in after-hours trading, setting a new record for the stock.