The day after JEA made its historic decision to invite offers for privatizing the city-owned utility, executives with the parent company of FPL had a quarterly conference call with industry analysts to discuss company earnings. An analyst popped the question about acquiring JEA.
NextEra Energy CEO Jim Robo was ready with an answer.
“We think obviously we run the best utility in the world, so we think we would bring a lot to the customers of those utilities in Florida who would be interested in selling, and obviously, we serve [an area] very close to JEA’s area,” Robo said.
Robo’s comments showed that coming out of the gate, JEA’s months-long process of seeking offers and negotiating with potential buyers has already sparked interest.
But even if JEA were to strike a deal that exceeds its threshold requirements, selling JEA is not a popular proposition. A University of North Florida poll done in February showed two-thirds of likely voters oppose selling “all or part” of JEA. A second UNF poll released in in June found 72 percent of voters object to a sale.
Jacksonville City Council member Danny Becton is among the skeptics. [click for full article]