HELENA, MT—Bankrupt utility NorthWestern Corporation has been authorized to spend up to $420,000 a year on public relations to help it through its reorganization and portray it as a viable company going forward, a federal judge has decided.
U.S. bankruptcy judge Charles Case has approved a NorthWestern request to pay Omnicom-owned Gavin Anderson & Co. a monthly maximum of $35,000. The company said it needed help in “protecting, retaining and developing good will and confidence” of stakeholders including potential investors, reporters, customers and creditors.
NorthWestern is the parent company of NorthWestern Energy, which provides electricity to more than 300,000 customers in Montana, and natural gas to about 157,000 customers. It hired Gavin Anderson in February during failed efforts to reorganize without resorting to bankruptcy. The firm helped with NorthWestern’s recent divestiture of Expanets, a subsidiary company.