Noting it would take a “small loss” on the deal, Xcel Energy announced Thursday it has reached an agreement to sell its unregulated, Denver-based Utility Engineering Corp. (UE) subsidiary to Zachry Group Inc., a San Antonio, TX-based contractor. The parties did not make the terms of the sale public. It is expected to close next month.

Several subsidiaries of UE are included in the sale, which involves about 500 employees located in Amarillo, TX, Groton, CT, Minneapolis, MN, and Omaha, Nebraska, in addition to the Denver headquarters. UE was a long-standing part of the old Southwestern Public Service Co., which is now an Xcel subsidiary.

Xcel President/COO Dick Kelly said continued ownership of the utility engineering company “was not consistent with our strategy of building our core regulated utility operations.”

Among the UE subsidiaries are units that provide professional staffing, engineering/project management in the nuclear industry, and full-service industrial maintenance. Zachry Group is the parent of Zachry Construction Corp. and Capitol Aggregates, Inc., as well as other holdings. It builds and maintains commercial/government facilities, heavy civil and highway projects, power plants, steel mills, pulp/paper mills, chemical plants and refineries.

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