A private equity firm is interested in acquiring utility systems across the Southeast and Lafayette is in their crosshairs.

Bernhard Capital Partners/NextGEN Utility Systems pitched its plan to Lafayette officials on Friday. It wants to control Lafayette's electric, water and sewer systems for 40 years.

Company officials will further explain their plan on Tuesday at a meeting open to the public.

The company would pay Lafayette $140 million up front and then make annual "in lieu of taxes" payments of about $23 million. Additionally, it would take on about $184 million of the utilities system's debt.

The plan would create about 400 jobs by building a mixed-use commercial facility in Lafayette to serve as NextGEN's corporate headquarters.