By Tim Leeds
It's impossible to even comment on what effect the sale of The Montana Power Company's multiple energy businesses will have on the Hi-Line, said Cort Freeman, spokesman for the company.
"We're just getting into the process," he said. "It will unfold over the next six to 12 months. We're working hard to put the pieces of the puzzle together."
Patrick J. Patterson, P.E., manager of operations of the local division of the company, said they have the right amount of people to provide good service for the area right now. He said he just hopes whoever buys it continues to keep enough people to provide the service.
Freeman said they are interested in a robust process in the bid to buy the businesses, with as many participants as possible. He said they will channel all interested parties to Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York, Montana Power's financial advising company. Goldman, Sachs & Co. will evaluate the prospective bidders along with Montana Power, then develop a short list of prospects and proceed from there, Freeman said.
In a March 28 press release, Montana Power said it will look to all qualified buyers, and examine a broad range of factors. These factors will include but are not limited to valuation, financial strength, operating experience, reputation for fair dealing with customers and employees, and the ability to finalize any transactions.
Once the board has determined the preferred course of action, the company will make a public announcement.
Robert P. Gannon, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Montana Power, said in the press release that the company will work to make sure employees are treated fairly, as it did with the recent sale of its generation assets in Montana.