Determines Offer is Structurally Coercive and Not in the Best Interests of Stockholders
Files Schedule 14D-9 Amendment with the SEC Recommending Stockholders Reject Inadequate, Coercive and Highly Conditional Offer
LAS VEGAS, March 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SWX) (the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors, (the "Board") following a thorough review with the assistance of its financial and legal advisors, has unanimously determined that the revised tender offer from an affiliate of Carl Icahn ("Mr. Icahn") to acquire any and all outstanding common shares of the Company for $82.50 per share in cash (the "Offer") is inadequate, structurally coercive, highly conditional, undervalues the Company, and is not in the best interests of all of its stockholders. Accordingly, the Board recommends that stockholders not tender any of their shares into the Offer.
On November 9, 2021, the Board rejected Mr. Icahn's initial unsolicited tender offer of $75.00 per share.
The Company separately announced that it filed its definitive proxy materials on March 24, 2022 and today issued a letter to Southwest Gas stockholders detailing the strategic actions to scale Southwest Gas' businesses, enhance profitability and drive value for stockholders that the Board expects will unlock far greater value than Mr. Icahn's inadequate $82.50 per share Offer. As highlighted in the letter, the Southwest Gas Board notes that Mr. Icahn openly admits that his $82.50 tender offer significantly undervalues the Company. In his recent open letter to stockholders, Mr. Icahn publicly stated that he believes "SWX could be worth in a range of $110-$150 per share." By his own admission, Mr. Icahn's Offer fails to compensate Southwest Gas stockholders fairly for the upside potential inherent in their share ownership.
The basis for the Board's decision is set forth in an amendment to the Company's Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 being filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Southwest Gas' proxy materials are currently in the process of being mailed to stockholders. The Board strongly recommends that stockholders vote FOR ALL its director nominees on the WHITE proxy card promptly upon receipt. The proxy materials and other information regarding the Board of Directors' recommendation for the 2022 Annual Meeting can also be found at www.SWXBuildingValue.com.
Lazard and Moelis & Company LLC are serving as financial advisors to Southwest Gas and Morrison & Foerster LLP and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP are serving as legal advisors.
About Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.
Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas, and providing comprehensive utility infrastructure services across North America. Southwest Gas Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, safely and reliably delivers natural gas to over two million customers in Arizona, California and Nevada. The Company's MountainWest subsidiary provides natural gas storage and interstate pipeline services within the Rocky Mountain region. Centuri Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, is a strategic infrastructure services company that partners with regulated utilities to build and maintain the energy network that powers millions of homes and businesses across the United States and Canada.
How to Find Further Information
This communication does not constitute a solicitation of any vote or approval in connection with the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders of Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") (the "Annual Meeting"). In connection with the Annual Meeting, the Company has filed a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), which the Company has furnished to its stockholders in connection with the Annual Meeting. The Company may furnish additional materials in connection with the Annual Meeting. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, WE URGE STOCKHOLDERS TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT (INCLUDING ALL AMENDMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND WHITE PROXY CARD AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WHEN SUCH INFORMATION IS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY, BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY AND THE ANNUAL MEETING. The proposals for the Annual Meeting are being made solely through the definitive proxy statement. In addition, a copy of the definitive proxy statement may be obtained free of charge from www.swgasholdings.com/proxymaterials. Security holders also may obtain, free of charge, copies of the proxy statement and any other documents filed by Company with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov, and at the companies' website at www.swgasholdings.com.
Important Information for Investors and Stockholders: This communication does not constitute an offer to buy or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities. In response to the tender offer for the shares of the Company commenced by IEP Utility Holdings LLC and Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P., the Company has filed a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 with the SEC. INVESTORS AND STOCKHOLDERS OF SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS ARE URGED TO READ THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and stockholders may obtain a free copy of these documents free of charge at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov, and at the Company's website at www.swgasholdings.com. In addition, copies of these materials may be requested from the Company's information agent, Innisfree M&A Incorporated, toll-free at (877) 825-8621.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") and the Company's expectations or intentions regarding the future. These forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of words such as "will", "predict", "continue", "forecast", "expect", "believe", "anticipate", "outlook", "could", "target", "project", "intend", "plan", "seek", "estimate", "should", "may" and "assume", as well as variations of such words and similar expressions referring to the future, and include (without limitation) statements regarding expectations with respect to a separation of Centuri, the future performance of Centuri, Southwest Gas's dividend ratios and Southwest Gas's future performance. 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 timing and amount of rate relief, changes in rate design, customer growth rates, the effects of regulation/deregulation, tax reform and related regulatory decisions, the impacts of construction activity at Centuri, whether we will separate Centuri within the anticipated timeframe and the impact to our results of operations and financial position from the separation, the potential for, and the impact of, a credit rating downgrade, the costs to integrate MountainWest, future earnings trends, inflation, sufficiency of labor markets and similar resources, seasonal patterns, the cost and management attention of ongoing litigation that the Company is currently engaged in, the effects of the pending tender offer and proxy contest brought by Carl Icahn and his affiliates, and the impacts of stock market volatility. In addition, the Company can provide no assurance that its discussions about future operating margin, operating income, COLI earnings, interest expense, and capital expenditures of the natural gas distribution segment will occur. Likewise, the Company can provide no assurance that discussions regarding utility infrastructure services segment revenues, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue, and interest expense will transpire, nor assurance regarding acquisitions or their impacts, including management's plans or expectations related thereto, including with regard to Riggs Distler or MountainWest. Factors that could cause actual results to differ also include (without limitation) those discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's and Southwest Gas Corporation's current and periodic reports, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, filed from time to time with the SEC. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, even if subsequently made available by the Company on its Web site or otherwise. The Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.
Participants in the Solicitation: The directors and officers of the Company may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the Annual Meeting. Information regarding the Company's directors and officers and their respective interests in the Company by security holdings or otherwise is available in its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and the recent definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC in connection with the Annual Meeting. Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants is included in the proxy statement for the Annual Meeting and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC.
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SOURCE Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.