The bids of 16 companies interested in buying Jacksonville's city-owned electric and water utility - or any piece of it - were opened Monday, but it may be months before we know who the bidders are or how much they are willing to pay for the JEA.
The sealed bids were due Monday morning and were opened at 2 p.m. amid a shroud of secrecy, according to WJCT News partner News4Jax.
News4Jax reported only a handful of top officials will know the identities and amounts, which the JEA board said will keep the process more competitive.
It is known that Florida Power & Light will be one of the potential buyers because its president and CEO, Eric Silagy, has said FPL is interested.
All morning, representatives of various utility companies dropped off bids or proposals at City Hall.
The only bidder that would talk with News4Jax on Monday was an international water management company that is interested in partnering with others to buy the water side of the utility.
"I think it is a real unique opportunity. You don't see many of these go on in the United States, so it's really creative and it's something very different," said Rob Nicholas of Veolia Group. "We are attracted to it because of the water business. We manage water and wastewater systems across the country."
An expanded version of this story is at News4Jax.com.