Lexington County Chronicle
April 4, 2019

by Jerry Bellune

We were wrong.

We reported earlier that debt-ridden Santee Cooper has been paying an investment banker $150,000 a month for advice.

Santee Cooper officials have admitted to senators that they have actually been paying $250,000 a month for at least 4 months to Centerview Partners for advice.

The payments are for an assessment of offers to buy the taxpayer-owned utility.

Why is this important to Chronicle readers?

Most of us are taxpayers who own Santee Cooper and its $8 billion debt.

Many of us are Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative members. Some or all of our power is bought from San-tee Cooper.

Its sale, who runs it and who has to pay off its $8 billion debt will affect members’ electric rates.

Santee Cooper officials say they have no $4 billion nuclear debt recovery plan.

In what some call an astonishing admission, the officials who supply electricity for Mid-Carolina Electric members in Lexington County, revealed they have been paying an investment banking firm $250,000 a month for advice.

Whatever happens to the taxpayer-owned utility will have a large impact on Mid-Carolina and other cooperative members in SC.

The officials told the Senate Select Committee on Santee Cooper that they spent up to $1 million over the last 4 months with Centerview Partners.

The firm describes itself on its website as “a leading independent investment banking and advisory firm” that “provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, financial restructurings, valuation, and capital structure to companies, institutions and governments.”

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