Southwest Gas Holdings has said that the board has approved a plan to explore the divestment of the company, as well as evaluate other strategic alternatives, in a bid to maximise stockholder value.
The move was announced after the company received another indication of interest from an unnamed potential buyer.
According to a company statement, the new takeover bid is ‘well in excess’ of Carl Icahn’s $82.50 per share offer.
Last month, Southwest Gas, following a detailed review, rejected Icahn’s bid, saying that the offer was ‘not in the best interests of all of its stockholders’.
As part of the strategic review, the company will also explore a separate sale of its business units and/or advance with a previously disclosed spin-off of its subsidiary Centuri, as well as other options.
A board committee composed of independent directors will oversee the evaluation. Southwest Gas has also invited Mr. Icahn to participate in the sale process.
Southwest Gas Board chair Michael J. Melarkey said: “As a board, we determined that the best path forward is to explore a range of strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company, to maximise the value of the company on behalf of all of our stockholders.
“We plan to move forward expeditiously.”
Southwest Gas Holdings focuses on distributing natural gas, as well as offering utility infrastructure services.
The company’s subsidiary, Southwest Gas Corporation, supplies natural gas to more than two million customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Another subsidiary, MountainWest, offers natural gas storage and interstate pipeline services within the Rocky Mountain region.
In January, the company completed the acquisition of Questar Pipelines for $1.975bn.