Private Equity Firm Offers Plan to Control Lafayette's Utilities

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A private equity firm working to acquiring utility systems across the Southeast wants to manage and operate some of the utilities of a Louisiana city.

The Daily Advertiser reports Bernhard Capital Partners/NextGEN Utility Systems pitched its plan Friday to Lafayette officials. It wants to control Lafayette's electric, water and sewer systems for 40 years.

Company representatives are set to further explain the plan Tuesday at a meeting that's open to the public.

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The company would pay Lafayette $140 million up front and make annual "in lieu of taxes" payments of about $23 million. It also would take on about $184 million of the utilities system's debt.

It says it also plans to create around 400 jobs by building a mixed-used commercial facility in Lafayette to serve as NextGEN's corporate headquarters.

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