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Fri Jul 19, 2019, 05:37 AM

Santee Cooper will pony up $15 million for consultants on possible sale

COLUMBIA, SC -- After a weeks-long scuffle with a powerful state lawmaker over $15 million, Santee Cooper has agreed to cough up the money to pay a high-powered consultant to study its own sale.

The state-owned utility’s board unanimously voted Wednesday to meet Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman’s demand for more money to hire an investment bank — or some other expert — that will help the state field and evaluate offers to purchase or take over the management of Santee Cooper.

Board members and new Santee Cooper CEO Mark Bonsall took turns saying they are happy to help ensure South Carolina hires the best possible experts to advise lawmakers on a possible sale, even as one board member noted the money demand caught Santee Cooper off guard.

State lawmakers are considering offloading Santee Cooper after the 85-year-old power company lost $4 billion on the construction of two nuclear power reactors that were never finished. The 2 million South Carolinians who get the utility’s power face higher power bills for four decades as a result of the V.C. Summer project’s failure.

Read more: https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article232788442.html

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