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Southern Company tries to raise $1.6 billion in stock sale

Mississippi Power’s Kemper plant, behind schedule and over budget, is among the uncertainties that could affect its parent company’s stock offering.
Mississippi Power’s Kemper plant, behind schedule and over budget, is among the uncertainties that could affect its parent company’s stock offering. Mississippi Power

Southern Company will try to raise $1.6 billion through an underwritten public offering of 32.5 million shares of its common stock, according to a press release from the company.

Southern said it will use the money to pay for part of cost of its purchase of Southern Natural gas and “other general corporate purposes.” The release said Southern also could use cash from the sale to invest in its subsidiaries, “including Southern Power.”

Barclays, Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Securities are managing the offering.

The release made no mention of subsidiary Mississippi Power nor its Kemper power plant until the cautionary notes at the end of the release.

Uncertainties about Kemper are among a host of factors Southern said could cause stock performance to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information. The release said Southern expects the offer to close Friday.

The Kemper plant is considerably over budget and far behind schedule. Last week, Mississippi Power pushed back the start date about a month to Oct. 31 and added $43 million to the cost, raising the total price tag to more than $6.8 billion.

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