Aquila

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Aquila, Inc.
Type Merged
Genre Energy Company
Founded 1902
Founder(s) Lemuel K. Green
Headquarters Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Key people Richard C. Green (Chairman, President, CEO)
Website aquila.com

Aquila, Inc. was an electricity and natural gas distribution network headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri in the United States. On July 14, 2008, Aquila merged through two separate transactions. Black Hills Corporation acquired the company's natural gas properties in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska for $940 million, and its electric properties in Colorado. [1] Aquila's electric properties in Missouri were merged into a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy, and there Aquila now operates under the name of former competitor, Kansas City Power & Light.[2]

The company at one time ranked #33 on the Fortune 500 list before experiencing a dramatic drop in the wake of the Enron collapse. The company also owned power generation assets, and previously operated under the name UtiliCorp United, Inc.[3]

Existing Coal Plants

Plant Name State Year(s) Built Capacity
Sibley Generating Station MO 1960, 1962, 1969 524 MW
Lake Road Generating Station (MO) MO 1966 90 MW

History[4]

Solomon Valley Milling Company

Aquila has its roots in the Solomon Valley Milling Company founded in 1902 by Lemuel K. Green in Osborne, Kansas. The steam mill used to process flour and Green discovered he could sell electricity.

In 1908 sold the mill and bought the H.M. Spalding Electric Light Plant in Concordia, Kansas. Prior to Green's purchase the plant generated power only dawn to midnight and was closed on Sundays. Green bought power from another flour mill and began selling power to neighboring towns.

Green Power & Light Company

In 1916 he sold the plant to the A.E. Fitkin & Company in New York City for $550,000. He then bought the Reeder Light, Ice & Fuel Company in Pleasant Hill, Missouri and renamed the company Green Power & Light Company.

West Missouri Power Company

In 1922 looking to expand with a generating plant at Clinton, Missouri he took the company public under the name West Missouri Power Company. Its chief rival in the Kansas City metropolitan area was Kansas City Power & Light.

The company continued to expand through southwest Missouri.

Missouri Public Service Company

In 1926 he sold it to the Fitkin Group again which merged with the Missouri Public Service Company. Green retired to Escondido, California where bought an orange grove. He died in 1930.

The Public Utilities Act of 1935 broke up utilities. Green's son Ralph Green bought controlling interest in Missouri Public Service. Green was bring in Middle West Corporation, Missouri Gas & Electric Service Company and City Light and Traction Company of Sedalia, Missouri.

UtiliCorp United Inc.

Ralph Green died in 1962 and his son Richard Green took the helm. Richard Green, Jr. took over in 1982. The latest Green looked to expand it beyond its Missouri base and it was renamed UtiliCorp United Inc. in 1985.

It bought People's Natural Gas, Northern Minnesota Utilities, West Virginia Power, West Kootenay Power and Light in British Columbia, Michigan Gas Utilities.

In 1989 it assigned its unregulated gas operations to a newly created subsidiary, Aquila Energy Corp.

The acquisitions were done by issuing stock and reducing Green family control.

In 1992 the company entered into a joint venture to distribute and market natural gas in the United Kingdom. From 1995 to 2000 it bought interest in utilities in New Zealand and Australia.

In some markets Utilicorp placed electric and phone bills on the same bill.

Aquila, Inc.

In 2001 Utilicorp spun off Aquila but then bought it back in 2002 and then renamed the entire corporation Aquila, Inc.

Aquila's stock price peaked at $37.55 in May 2001 and it ranked #33 on the Fortune 500. The stock plummeted to $6.75 in July 2002 in the wake of the Enron scandal which had called into question business practices of all electric utilities[5]

The company began selling its assets and dropped to 891 on the Fortune list in 2007.[6]

Black Hills Corporation and Kansas City Power & Light

In 2007 Aquila's electric assets in northwest Missouri was acquired by its historic rival Kansas City Power & Light (via its new parent Great Plains Energy) for $1.7 billion.[7] Its gas properties, as well as its electric service area in southeastern Colorado, was acquired by Black Hills Corporation.[8]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Black Hills Corp. Completes Purchase of Five Aquila Utility Properties" Reuters, July 14, 2008
  2. "Great Plains Energy Completes Acquisition of Aquila", Business Wire, July 14, 2008.
  3. "International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 50." Funding Universe Website, August 2009
  4. "International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 50." Funding Universe Website, August 2009
  5. "International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 50." Funding Universe Website, August 2009
  6. "Fortune 500 Annual Ranking of America's Top Corporations 2007" Fortune500, April 30, 2007
  7. "Great Plains Energy Completes Acquisition of Aquila", Business Wire, July 14, 2008.
  8. "Black Hills offers Kansas regulators new deal on Aquila gas buy" Kansas City, February 13, 2008

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Aquila. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.