Concludes All Litigation From Southern Union's and ONEOK's
Attempts to Acquire Southwest Gas
LAS VEGAS, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Gas Corporation
(NYSE: SWX) announced today that the Company has reached a definitive
settlement agreement with ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE), resolving the lawsuit
between the parties in the United States District Court for the District of
Arizona. The litigation related to the terminated acquisition of Southwest by
ONEOK, Inc. in early 2000.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010823/SWXLOGO )
Pursuant to the settlement agreement, ONEOK will pay Southwest Gas
$3 million. Both companies will be released from all legal claims brought
against each other. ONEOK and Southwest will further release each other from
any right of contribution and indemnity which may result from Southern Union
Company's (NYSE: SUG) legal action against either party.
"We are pleased to resolve our legal disputes with ONEOK," said Thomas
Hartley, Southwest's Chairman of the Board. "This settlement, along with the
litigation settlement we reached earlier this week with Southern Union, brings
to a close a particularly challenging period in our corporate history. All of
the claims involving Southwest in this complex web of litigation have now been
resolved. Like the settlement with Southern Union, reasonable business
judgment guided Southwest in resolving its differences with ONEOK. Our
management team can now turn its full attention to enhancing Southwest Gas'
strong market position as the nation's fastest growing natural gas
distribution company. We view this as a very positive development for the
Company, our shareholders, our employees and our customers."
All litigation regarding Southern Union's and ONEOK's attempts to acquire
Southwest Gas is now resolved.
Southwest will recognize $3 million, or $.05 per share, in the second
quarter of 2002 to reflect this settlement with ONEOK. Combined with the
$17.5 million payable as a result of Southwest's recent settlement with
Southern Union, the one-time, net non-recurring charge to Southwest is
$14.5 million, or $.28 per share, which will be included in the Company's
second quarter 2002 financial results.
Southwest Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 1.4 million homes and
businesses in Arizona, California and Nevada. Its service territories are
centered in the fastest-growing region of the country.
This report contains statements which constitute "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(Reform Act). All such forward-looking statements are intended to be subject
to the safe harbor protection provided by the Reform Act. 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 impact of weather variations on customer usage, natural gas prices, the
effects of regulation/deregulation, the timing and amount of rate relief,
changes in capital requirements and funding, acquisitions and competition.
MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
SOURCE Southwest Gas Corporation
Photo: NewsCom: http: //www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010823/SWXLOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840
CONTACT: In Phoenix, Arizona, Michael J. O'Connor, +1-602-262-5889, or in Las Vegas, Nevada, Thomas R. Sheets, +1-702-876-7337, both of Southwest Gas Corporation
CAPTION: SWXLOGO SOUTHWEST GAS CORPORATION LOGO Southwest Gas Corporation logo. (PRNewsFoto)[TC] LAS VEGAS, NV USA 08/23/2001