In the proposed sale of Philadelphia Gas Works to a Connecticut energy company, the Ballard Spahr lawyers representing the City of Philadelphia had numerous hurdles to overcome, including political hurdles stemming from PGW's status as a municipally owned utility.

Gregory L. Seltzer, a Ballard Spahr partner, CPA, and transactional attorney focusing on M&A and licensing matters, led the legal team in negotiating the $1.86 billion deal. Mr. Seltzer told, "At its core, this is the sale of an asset." But, he added, "due to the political overlay, there is a higher level of sensitivity on . . . employee benefits, environmental issues, and employee retention."

Mr. Seltzer said the primary issue facing the City during negotiations was minimizing its exposure to disputes after the deal closes; terms of the deal protect the City from charges that it did not disclose certain liabilities. He states that that feature frees up capital for the City, since sellers normally have to set aside funds to cover future claims. The deal also bars complaints related to labor and employment matters as well as environmental matters.




Related Practices

Business and Finance
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Labor and Employment
Mergers and Acquisitions/Private Equity
Public Finance