Fried Frank represented NiSource Inc. in the offering, while Davis Polk advised the underwriters.
NiSource Inc. announced its US$750 million offering of 7,500,000 equity units. Each equity unit will initially be in the form of a corporate unit, consisting of a contract to purchase shares of NiSource common stock in the future and a 1/10 undivided beneficial ownership interest in one share of series c mandatory convertible preferred stock, with a liquidation preference of US$1,000 per share. The transaction employed an innovative structure that let NiSource take 100% equity credit for ratings purposes at issuance while permitting it to retain in part the benefits of share price increases and is expected create a new trend in convertible issuance.
NiSource expects to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to 1,125,000 additional corporate units to cover over-allotments. The common stock purchase contracts are expected to settle on December 1, 2023 (subject to early settlement in certain circumstances). NiSource intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for renewable generation investments and general corporate purposes. NiSource is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across seven states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., BofA Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, and MUFG Securities Americas Inc. acted as underwriters for the offering.
The Fried Frank team was led by corporate partners Amber Banks (Meek), Darren A. Littlejohn and Ashar Qureshi, and included executive compensation & ERISA partner Amy L. Blackman, tax partner Joseph E. Fox, corporate special counsel Dave N. Rao, tax special counsel Ryan L. Conley, corporate associates Hai Huang and Bradley Russian, and tax associate Karen Li.
Davis Polk advised the underwriters with partners John G. Crowley and Mark J. DiFiore and associates Michael Jiang, Joseph Luizzi, Xi (Brooke) Zheng and Yini Chen. The tax team included associate Yixuan Long. Associate Daniel P. Kearney provided intellectual property advice. Counsel Loyti Cheng and associate Michael Comstock provided environmental advice.
Involved fees earner: Yini Chen – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Loyti Cheng – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Michael Comstock – Davis Polk & Wardwell; John Crowley – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Mark DiFiore – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Michael Jiang – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Daniel Kearney – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Yixuan Long – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Joseph Luizzi – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Brooke Zheng – Davis Polk & Wardwell; Amber Banks (Meek) – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Amy Blackman – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Ryan Conley – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Joseph Fox – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Hai Huang – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Karen Li – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Darren Littlejohn – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Ashar Qureshi – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Dave Rao – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Bradley Russian – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson;
Clients: Bank of America Securities; Barclays Capital ; Citigroup Global Markets Ltd; Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC; Goldman Sachs & Co.; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC; MUFG Securities Americas Inc. ; NiSource; Wells Fargo Securities;