April 5, 2004
New Jersey to Hire Saber Partners to Advise on Electric Utility Bond Offerings
New York, New York: The State of New Jersey, Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously on April 2, 2004, to hire Saber Partners, LLC to be its financial advisor concerning the issuance of bonds backed by special charges on New Jersey retail electric consumers' bills. The bonds are to be offered under New Jersey's Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act ("EDECA") to reimburse investor-owned utilities for certain power costs.
"There is a special duty to protect the public trust in structuring, marketing and pricing these securities since the bonds' costs affects the consumers' bottom line — their electric bill" said Joseph S. Fichera, CEO of Saber Partners, LLC. "We are honored to have been chosen to help the State protect ratepayer interests."
"We focus on the ratepayers," said Fred S. Grygiel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Board. "The potential for savings from the activist involvement of Saber Partners in the New Jersey financing process warrant their retention for the Public Service Electric & Gas (NYSE: PEG) transaction, the state's largest utility. Saber's accomplishments in Texas provide confirming evidence of their material positive impact on the costs of financing and the cost to ratepayers."
Saber Partners is a Wall Street advisory firm founded in 2000 by a former investment banker, and includes former power company chief financial officers and executives. The company serves the State of Texas in a similar role on the issuance of $3 billion of comparable bonds in Texas. The firm's conservative approach to advising on public finance and underwritings has been used in several high-profile situations. In addition to Texas and now New Jersey, Saber served the State of California as the Office of the Governor's chief financial advisor during the height of that state's electricity crisis in 2001 and the potential offering of $15 billion of bonds.
The New Jersey bonds are expected to be offered during the summer of 2004.
More information on Saber can be found at www.saberpartners.com.
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