Mr. Icahn’s Offer Remains Inadequate, Highly Conditional and Subject to Significant Regulatory Hurdles
The Company Recommends Stockholders Not Tender Any Shares into Offer
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SWX) (“Southwest Gas” or “the Company”) today confirmed that an affiliate of Carl Icahn (“Icahn”) extended its tender offer to acquire any and all outstanding common shares of the Company for $75.00 per share in cash (the “Offer”). As previously announced, Southwest Gas’ Board of Directors rejected Icahn’s unsolicited, inadequate, structurally coercive, highly conditional and illusory tender offer. Accordingly, the Board continues to recommend that stockholders not tender any of their shares into the Offer.
Southwest Gas issued the following statement:
The Southwest Gas Board of Directors continues to believe that Mr. Icahn’s Offer is highly illusory and undervalues the Company, has no certainty of completion and is not in the best interests of Southwest Gas stockholders. The Offer remains inadequate and contingent upon a long list of ambiguous conditions, nearly all of which we note are within Mr. Icahn’s discretion.
Moreover, Mr. Icahn has now amended his Offer so that it would only proceed if he wins control of the Southwest Gas Board, which further reinforces our belief that the Icahn slate has been assembled with one goal in mind—to facilitate Mr. Icahn’s effort to take control of Southwest Gas without paying a control premium to Southwest Gas stockholders.
Mr. Icahn claims to have found a way to circumvent the regulatory approval process. We disagree with Mr. Icahn’s apparent assertion that removing voting control from some fraction of the shares he proposes to own satisfies the need for him to obtain regulatory approval. The fact is Mr. Icahn does not have regulatory approval to proceed with his Offer or take control of the Southwest Gas Board through a proxy contest. Further, Mr. Icahn has not waived, nor satisfied, the Regulatory Approval condition to his Offer.
The Southwest Gas Board and management team are executing a clear and detailed strategy to create value and will continue to take actions to enhance value for all of our shareholders.
Lazard and Moelis & Company LLC are serving as financial advisors to Southwest Gas and Morrison & Foerster LLP and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP are serving as legal advisors.
About Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.
Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas, and providing comprehensive utility infrastructure services across North America. Southwest Gas Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, safely and reliably delivers natural gas to over two million customers in Arizona, California and Nevada. Centuri Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, is a comprehensive utility infrastructure services enterprise dedicated to delivering a diverse array of solutions to North America’s gas and electric providers. The Company’s MountainWest subsidiary provides natural gas storage and interstate pipeline services within the Rocky Mountain region.
How to Find Further Information
This communication does not constitute a solicitation of any vote or approval in connection with the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders of Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”) (the “Annual Meeting”). In connection with the Annual Meeting, the Company will file a proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which the Company will furnish, with any other relevant information or documents, to its stockholders in connection with the Annual Meeting. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, WE URGE STOCKHOLDERS TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND WHITE PROXY CARD AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WHEN SUCH INFORMATION IS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY AND THE ANNUAL MEETING. The proposals for the Annual Meeting will be made solely through the proxy statement. In addition, a copy of the proxy statement (when it becomes available) may be obtained free of charge from www.swgasholdings.com/proxymaterials. Security holders also will be able to obtain, free of charge, copies of the proxy statement and any other documents filed by Company with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov, and at the companies’ website at www.swgasholdings.com.
Important Information for Investors and Stockholders
This communication does not constitute an offer to buy or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities. In response to the tender offer for the shares of the Company commenced by IEP Utility Holdings LLC and Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P., the Company has filed a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 with the SEC. INVESTORS AND STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS ARE URGED TO READ THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and stockholders may obtain a free copy of these documents free of charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and at the Company’s website at www.swgasholdings.com. In addition, copies of these materials may be requested from the Company’s information agent, Innisfree M&A Incorporated, toll-free at (877) 825-8621.
This document contains 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. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about, among others, the industry, markets in which Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the “Company,” “Southwest Gas Holdings,” “SWX,” or “we”) operates, and the matters described in this press release. While the Company’s management believes the assumptions underlying its forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, such information is necessarily subject to uncertainties and may involve certain risks, many of which are difficult to predict and are beyond the control of the Company’s management. A number of important factors affecting the business and financial results of the Company could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the timing and amount of rate relief, changes in rate design, customer growth rates, the effects of regulation/deregulation, tax reform and related regulatory decisions, the impacts of construction activity at Centuri, future earnings trends, seasonal patterns, and the impacts of stock market volatility. In addition, the Company can provide no assurance that its discussions about future operating margin, operating income, pension costs, COLI results, and capital expenditures of the natural gas segment will occur. Likewise, the Company can provide no assurance that discussions regarding utility infrastructure services segment revenues, operating income as a percentage of revenues, interest expense, and noncontrolling interest amounts will transpire, nor assurance regarding acquisitions or their impacts, including management’s plans related thereto, such as that currently planned in regard to Riggs Distler & Company, Inc. and the pending acquisition of Dominion Energy Questar Pipeline, LLC and related entities (the “Questar Pipeline Group”). Additional risks include the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the Sale and Purchase Agreement by and between Dominion Energy Questar Corporation and the Company (the “Questar Purchase Agreement”), the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company and others following announcement of the Questar Purchase Agreement, risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations, the risks related to the ability of the Company to integrate the Questar Pipeline Group, the amount of the costs, fees, expenses and charges related to the transaction and the actual terms of certain financings that will be obtained for the transaction, potential negative impacts to the Company’s credit ratings as a result of the transaction, the disruption to the Company’s stock price and the costs, fees, expenses and charges related to, and the distraction of management’s attention in connection with, any proxy contest or other stockholder related or similar matters, as well as other risks that are set forth under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021 and in future filings with the SEC. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or any person acting on its behalf are qualified by the cautionary statements in this section. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or changes in expectations after the date of this press release.
Participants in the Solicitation
The directors and officers of the Company may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the Annual Meeting. Information regarding the Company’s directors and officers and their respective interests in the Company by security holdings or otherwise is available in its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and its most recent definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC. Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants is or will be included in the proxy statement for the Annual Meeting and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC, when they become available.
For investor information, contact: Ken Kenny (702) 876-7237 [email protected]; or Innisfree M&A Incorporated, Scott Winter/Jennifer Shotwell/Jon Salzberger, (212) 750-5833
For media information, contact: Sean Corbett (702) 876-7219 [email protected]; or
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, Dan Katcher / Tim Lynch, (212) 355-4449
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SOURCE Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.