D.C. Commission, in Surprise 2-1 Reversal, Approves Pepco-Exelon Merger

first_imgD.C. Commission, in Surprise 2-1 Reversal, Approves Pepco-Exelon Merger FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Thomas Heath and Aaron C. Davis for the Washington Post:District regulators approved a $6.8 billion merger between Pepco Holdings and Exelon on Wednesday, creating the largest publicly held utility in the country.The decision marked a surprising turn of events for the deal, which D.C. regulators had rejected twice and which appeared to be on life support in recent weeks as D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and other city leaders lined up in opposition.The merger means that Pepco will be absorbed by a company with the largest number of nuclear reactors in the country and widespread operations throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and New England.The sale affects about 2 million Mid-Atlantic electric customers who are served by Pepco Holdings, including more than 815,000 ratepayers in the District and in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.And it is widely expected that those customers will see higher electric rates — possibly as soon as this summer — as has happened in Baltimore and other cities after Exelon acquired energy distributors. Pepco has not sought annual rate increases since 2014, when Exelon first proposed its takeover of Pepco, despite having made capital improvements.Neither Pepco nor Exelon claimed victory after the vote, in part because stakeholders can seek a stay on the order’s implementation.The utilities wasted no time in completing the merger, announcing late Wednesday afternoon that both sides had completed and filed the paperwork. Pepco stock would cease to exist as of Thursday, with shareholders receiving $27.25 per share.“Today, we join together as one company to play a vital role as a leader in our industry and the mid-Atlantic region,” Chris Crane, Exelon’s chief executive, said in a statement.Joseph M. Rigby, previously chairman, president and chief executive of Pepco Holdings, officially retired Wednesday. He was replaced by David M. Velazquez.Bowser and other officials did not say whether they will try to squash the merger. In a statement, the mayor said residents should brace for higher electric bills. “It appears the Public Service Commission favors government and commercial ratepayers over DC residents,” the mayor wrote. “Instead of a three year rate increase reprieve that we negotiated, it appears that DC residents will be hit with a rate increase as soon as this summer.”Anya Schoolman, head of the nonprofit group Community Power Network and an opponent of the deal, said she was “shocked” by the reversal.Power DC, an umbrella group of community organizations that opposed the merger, voted to fight on. “By approving the merger, the PSC has exposed our city to decades of higher rates, weakened its own ability to guide our city’s energy future, and helped ensure that DC will fall behind the rest of the US on clean, efficient energy,” the group said.D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), a fierce opponent of the merger, blasted the commission for the reversal.“What we’re doing here is fundamentally not in the public interest for the ratepayers or people of the District of Columbia,” she said. “I’ll tell you who the beneficiaries are, quite plainly: It’s Exelon and the shareholders of Pepco who get a big windfall out of this. Those are the people who won. . . . The rest of us, we lost.Full article: D.C. regulators green-light Pepco-Exelon merger, creating largest utility in the nationlast_img

first_imgD.C. Commission, in Surprise 2-1 Reversal, Approves Pepco-Exelon Merger FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Thomas Heath and Aaron C. Davis for the Washington Post:District regulators approved a $6.8 billion merger between Pepco Holdings and Exelon on Wednesday, creating the largest publicly held utility in the country.The decision marked a surprising turn of events for the deal, which D.C. regulators had rejected twice and which appeared to be on life support in recent weeks as D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and other city leaders lined up in opposition.The merger means that Pepco will be absorbed by a company with the largest number of nuclear reactors in the country and widespread operations throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and New England.The sale affects about 2 million Mid-Atlantic electric customers who are served by Pepco Holdings, including more than 815,000 ratepayers in the District and in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.And it is widely expected that those customers will see higher electric rates — possibly as soon as this summer — as has happened in Baltimore and other cities after Exelon acquired energy distributors. Pepco has not sought annual rate increases since 2014, when Exelon first proposed its takeover of Pepco, despite having made capital improvements.Neither Pepco nor Exelon claimed victory after the vote, in part because stakeholders can seek a stay on the order’s implementation.The utilities wasted no time in completing the merger, announcing late Wednesday afternoon that both sides had completed and filed the paperwork. Pepco stock would cease to exist as of Thursday, with shareholders receiving $27.25 per share.“Today, we join together as one company to play a vital role as a leader in our industry and the mid-Atlantic region,” Chris Crane, Exelon’s chief executive, said in a statement.Joseph M. Rigby, previously chairman, president and chief executive of Pepco Holdings, officially retired Wednesday. He was replaced by David M. Velazquez.Bowser and other officials did not say whether they will try to squash the merger. In a statement, the mayor said residents should brace for higher electric bills. “It appears the Public Service Commission favors government and commercial ratepayers over DC residents,” the mayor wrote. “Instead of a three year rate increase reprieve that we negotiated, it appears that DC residents will be hit with a rate increase as soon as this summer.”Anya Schoolman, head of the nonprofit group Community Power Network and an opponent of the deal, said she was “shocked” by the reversal.Power DC, an umbrella group of community organizations that opposed the merger, voted to fight on. “By approving the merger, the PSC has exposed our city to decades of higher rates, weakened its own ability to guide our city’s energy future, and helped ensure that DC will fall behind the rest of the US on clean, efficient energy,” the group said.D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), a fierce opponent of the merger, blasted the commission for the reversal.“What we’re doing here is fundamentally not in the public interest for the ratepayers or people of the District of Columbia,” she said. “I’ll tell you who the beneficiaries are, quite plainly: It’s Exelon and the shareholders of Pepco who get a big windfall out of this. Those are the people who won. . . . The rest of us, we lost.Full article: D.C. regulators green-light Pepco-Exelon merger, creating largest utility in the nationlast_img

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